Shoppers Can't Halt Commercial Mortgage Crisis

Retailers will default, no matter how many sweaters you buy today
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 28, 2008 9:02 AM CST
Shoppers Can't Halt Commercial Mortgage Crisis
Shoppers, who had snapped their wallets shut since September, flocked to stores and malls before dawn Friday to grab deals on everything from TVs to toys, as at this Target in Ohio.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Black Friday shoppers hunting for holiday bargains won't be enough to stave off what's likely to become the next economic crisis. Malls from Michigan to Georgia are entering foreclosure, commercial victims of the same events poisoning the housing market. Hotels in Tucson, Ariz., and Hilton Head, SC, also are about to default on their mortgages.

That pace is expected to quicken. The number of late payments and defaults will double, if not triple, by the end of next year, according to analysts from Fitch Ratings Ltd, which evaluates companies' credit. "We're probably in the first inning of the commercial mortgage problem," said a New Jersey real estate lawyer. (More retail sales stories.)

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