Class J of Merrill Lynch Mortgage Investors Inc.'s series 1997-C2 certificates has been downgraded from B-minus to CCC by Fitch Ratings.In addition, Fitch affirmed the ratings on eight other classes in the deal. The rating agency attributed the downgrade to expected losses on nine of the 13 specially serviced loans in the transaction. As of the January distribution date, the pool's aggregate principal balance had paid down 22.3%, from $686.3 million at issuance to $531.9 million. The certificates are collateralized by 125 commercial and multifamily mortgage loans, down from 147 loans at issuance.

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