The Stress of Distressed Assets: Lenders Need to Think Twice About Foreclosing on Partially Completed Residential Developments

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It's undeniable: The United States economy currently faces the worst recession since the Great Depression. Constricted credit markets combined with plummeting real estate values have had a disastrous impact on much of the nation's residential development community.

As reported in an article by Roger Vincent (using market information from Hanley Wood Market Intelligence) in the March 4, 2009, issue of the Los Angeles Times, developers in California have abandoned the construction of approximately 250 residential developments with a combined total of 9,389 houses and condominium units, valued at approximately $3.5 billion.

According to that same Los Angeles Times article, developers have discontinued sales on 370 new-home developments in California, totaling approximately 30,000 residential units worth around $11.9 billion.

These properties, commonly referred to as "distressed assets," have become a significant liability for the lenders left holding the rights to them in today's depressed economy.

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