Federal Regulators Release New Policy Statement on Commercial Real Estate Loan Work-Outs

Bill Boyar

November 6, 2009

On October 30, 2009, the Federal Reserve adopted a new policy statement on commercial real estate loan work-outs, replacing a prior policy statement from 1991. This new statement supports prudent commercial real estate loan work-outs. One of the most significant provisions of this statement is “renewed or restructured loans to borrowers who have the ability to repay their debts according to reasonable modified terms will not be subject to adverse classification solely because the value of the underlying collateral has declined to an amount that is less than the loan balance.”

The primary focus of an examiner’s review of a commercial loan is directed towards the borrower’s ability and willingness to repay the loan, including any support by willing and able guarantors. As such, loans to sound borrowers that are renewed or restructured in accordance with prudent underwriting standards should not be adversely classified or criticized unless well-defined weaknesses exist that jeopardize repayment of the loan.

The policy statement includes a number of examples of commercial real estate loan work-outs, providing illustrations of prudent loan work-outs that would not be subject to adverse loan classification.

Click here for a full copy of the policy statement.