Commercial real estate ‘crash’ follows residential real estate ‘crash’ nationwide

LAS VEGAS – The process of undertaking a loan mitigation is daunting and difficult and can even be embarrassing. Unfortunately, following the residential real estate “crash” in Las Vegas, hundreds of local commercial property owners have found themselves in a similar situation – underwater on their commercial property loans and in desperate need of a loan mitigation.

But while many have found themselves in need of commercial mitigation services, few actually know what to do next. Some try to handle their own negotiations, while others have immediately turned to the heavy hand of an attorney to try to work things out. Neither situation is ideal.

“Oftentimes, banks will become defensive if their first encounter with a customer is through an attorney,” said Avi Hayon, senior financial analyst for the Commercial Mitigation Group. “However, it can be highly confusing for borrowers trying to negotiate new terms on their own. It’s a fine line.”

That’s where Commercial Mitigation Group, which mitigates loans on behalf of businesses nationwide, comes in. The company has offices in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Hayon added that borrowers are often unsuccessful on their own because they don’t have objectivity and tend to let their emotions guide them.

Hayon has already helped several businesses mitigating their commercial real estate loans. He limits the number of clients he takes on each month to ensure he can do the best job possible for his clientele. Before Hayon moved into mitigating commercial real estate loans, he was a senior financial analyst for a national commodities firm. It was there that he gained the insight and experience that allowed him to – about a year in advance – forecast that a commercial real estate collapse was coming.

Commercial Mitigation Group’s typical client has become unable to meet their financial obligations due to some form of hardship. The combination of circumstances is unique in each case, but the most common issue in each scenario is a high vacancy factor.

Surprisingly, there are few businesses like Commercial Mitigation Group, which was established in 2007 and has a 98 percent success rate. Prior to beginning work with a client, CMG performs a free no-commitment analysis of potential clients before taking them on. If they don’t think they can help someone, CMG doesn’t bring them on as a client.

Hayon attributes much of his success to his ability to understand and work with the lender and the borrower in every situation.

“When negotiating with a lender, I look at their point of view and appeal to their sense of reason,” Hayon said. “What motivates them? How can we find a solution that both the borrower and the lender feel comfortable with? Banks understand what could happen if they don’t work with borrowers, so, as long as they know I’m trying to find a solution everyone is happy with, they’re usually willing to work with me on a borrower’s behalf.”

All of Hayon’s business has come entirely from word of mouth.

One of those clients is Guy Williams, CEO of KEEN TV, who retained CMG’s services for his church.

As with many businesses that purchased property in Las Vegas in 2006, Williams’ church was severely upside down in its loan. Not knowing what options were available, Williams, who is the church’s CEO, turned to CMG for assistance.

Williams had already retained an attorney to help in the church’s loan negotiations, but Hayon convinced him that he could negotiate better terms for the church if they didn’t put the lender in defensive mode by bringing in an attorney.

Long story short, as an intermediary between the church and the lender, Hayon was able to reduce the church’s monthly payment by 50 percent. At the end of two years, the church would do a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

“It was remarkable work,” Williams said. “He helped us reason through our options and made sure each party felt equal delight (or equal pain) in the solution. Even our attorney said it was the best settlement he’s ever seen.”

Commercial Mitigation Group’s fee is a flat 1 percent of the outstanding debt the company is mitigating for the client. The fee is paid in increments as each step of the process is completed.

For more information on Commercial Mitigation Group, call 213-309-5415 or visit