Situs Expands Special Servicing Amid Pressured European CMBS
Global commercial real estate service provider The Situs Companies is acquiring the special loan servicing business of Global Servicing Solutions Germany, a joint venture between Ocwen Financial (OCN) and Merrill Lynch. The acquisition is part of the company's move into the distressed loan servicing and debt advisory business. It brings Situs' total servicing and surveillance global platform to more than $19bn. Situs acquires the business through its German affiliate. The acquired firm will be branded Situs Global Servicing and bears ratings from Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Fitch Ratings. "Situs' commitment to put the service back into the loan servicing business allows us to focus on best of class customer service in a market that has been overwhelmed by mounting delinquencies, which have resulted in overall declining customer satisfaction," said Joe Kastrup, managing director and head of Situs European Servicing, in a statement on the acquisition. Rising delinquencies affects not only customer satisfaction, but overall performance of the securitization vehicles backed by the commercial real estate loans. On an industry-wide performance basis, S&P indicated in a report this week that the performance of European commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) remains pressured along with a "soft" employment landscape, frozen credit and depressed capital values in the commercial real estate market. European CMBS loan performance continued to reflect the effects of asset value and income deterioration as more loans became delinquent, breached covenants and moved into special servicing in August. Write to Diana Golobay.