MILL VALLEY -- After a two year hiatus from the Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities market, Bridger Commercial Funding headquartered in Mill Valley has gotten back in.
“Recent activity in the CMBS market is signaling that the credit logjam plaguing commercial real estate lending for the past two years is starting to break,” Peter Grabell, executive vice president of Bridger said.
The company works with 2,200 banks throughout the country. Loans made under Bridger’s new program will be underwritten to eligibility standards for securitization under the Federal Reserve’s Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF.
They are open to applications for new loans from $2 million to $20 million.
“There are two Wall Street investment banks that are quoting loans in the $20 million and up range,” Mr. Grabell said. “What we are doing complements what those firms are doing.”
Although the Bridger program is designed to allow investors purchasing new AAA-rated CMBS to access TALF financing, the program will offer commercial real estate borrowers the flexibility to access a range of alternative financing structures.
To date, individual borrowers have been locked out of TALF-supported financings because of the pooling requirement for newly originated loans. The new Bridger program addresses this obstacle by assembling a diversified portfolio of loans from many different borrowers that will be eligible for non-recourse securitization funding offered under TALF.
“This is really the first liquidity that has come back into the market for commercial borrowers. If it is something for multifamily, we have not had reliable financing. ... They are starting to get options back again,” said Mr. Grabell.
“I think that right now, treading cautiously is what is going on,” he continued. “People are looking for straightforward transactions. You are not going to see lenders taking on a lot of credit risk.”