In a federal penitentiary you get up early, eat a minimal amount of food, work hard all day at menial tasks, get paid very little and can never leave the property. Sound a lot like your hotel these days? If so, it is time to restructure your debt.

Nearly 25% of the 46,000 hotels in this country are in default of their mortgage covenants. A deep recession and overbuilding of hotel rooms have resulted in a drop of both occupancy and average daily rate.

Mortgage rates have remained constant and many hotel owners find themselves cutting operation costs to the bone, yet are still unable to make the monthly mortgage payment. Even working for free with little staff doesn't assure the bank can be paid.

The recession may have eased, but most economists think it will be a long time before the country returns to 2008 operating levels. Additionally, the excess rooms that were built and are still being built will not go away with the end of the recession.

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