Defaults on loans in fixed-rate, commercial mortgage-backed securities continue to grow, with the default rate hitting 12.9% at the end of the second quarter, up 228 basis points from Dec. 31, Fitch Ratings said. For the first seven months of the year, Fitch rated $9.95 billion of new fixed-rate, conduit CMBS. But that level was unable to stabilize the cumulative CMBS default rate, according to Fitch Managing Director Mary MacNeill. "Highly leveraged loans from recent vintage CMBS are also still defaulting at an elevated rate," MacNeill said. Loans from 2005 to 2008 experienced a 200 basis point jump in defaults between the end of 2010 and June 30, with delinquencies from the 2007 vintage up 549 basis points over that time. The four largest CMBS loans in default were originated in 2007, Fitch said. At the same time, the number of new defaults declined in the first part of the year, with newly defaulted loans in CMBS hitting $4 billion in the second quarter, a 59% drop from the first quarter. Even still, the default rate for fixed-rate CMBS loans continues its upward trajectory, surpassing Fitch estimates from mid 2010 that projected a rate as high as 11% by year end. Write to Kerri Panchuk.