The Mortgage Bankers Association and the Commercial Mortgage Securities Association are taking advantage of a "window of opportunity" to seek a loosening of restrictions on the real estate mortgage investment conduit structure, according to a speaker at the MBA's commercial real estate finance/multifamily lending convention in Orlando, Fla.Robert Vestewig, chief operating officer of GEMSA Loan Services, told a panel session that managing real estate "is not a passive task" and that REMIC rules "tend to limit substantial modifications" to commercial mortgage-backed security loans. The MBA is pursuing the changes with a letter to the chairman of the House Banking Committee, while recognizing that this is an election year and that it will be hard to have any "controversial changes" made, Mr. Vestewig said. If the changes are made, securitized commercial mortgage loans will have more flexibility and CMBS will be more competitive with whole loans, he said.

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