2009-01-14, 17:32

Barney Frank Requests Assistance for the Commercial Real Estate Industry

By: Chris Iavarone

In an entry I posted on this blog on December 23rd, I mentioned that the commercial real estate industry was seeking a bailout. Apparently, Congress was listening.

The Wall Street Journal last night reported that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced H.R.384, entitled the TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009. The bill is intended to reform the Troubled Assets Relief Program and includes a provision encouraging the Fed and the Treasury to extend a $200 billion debt-relief program targeted at consumer debt to commercial real estate.

But the industry is pushing for assistance above and beyond that requested by Chairman Frank. In a letter to lawmakers, it urged them to create a seperate facilility for commercial real estate:

"Many steps are needed to address this issue, but the first and most significant action would be for policy makers to request that the Treasury Department provide, at a minimum, $20 billion in TARP funds to revive the broader private commercial mortgage markets."

Information on the H.R. 384 can be found here.

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