The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) is leading a charge to get Congress to enact legislation that would encourage more rapid workouts of distressed loans. In late July, Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley (D-Nev.) introduced H.R. 5943, the “Community Recovery and Enhancement Act of 2010”.

The bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. It has drawn two co-sponsors — Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.). A companion bill has not yet been introduced to the Senate.

The bill is designed to encourage third parties to inject equity into situations where a borrower is under water on the mortgage. If passed, the bill would provide a tax benefit in the form of 50% bonus depreciation on the amount invested into a distressed debt situation. The new investor would obtain a minority stake in the center and a preferred cashflow position on future income.

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