A third of the loans used to finance Washington area commercial buildings and then sold to Wall Street are coming due in the next five years, leaving investors scrambling to find.
Many owners of office towers, hotels, shopping malls and apartment buildings relied on interest-only loans and planned to refinance them when they came due. That's become increasingly difficult to do in the almost completely frozen credit markets.
If owners can't refinance their loans, they could be forced to sell at a time when their properties are worth less. They could lose money and be forced to lay off workers.