What are Special Servicers and What Do they Do (Plus a Free List)

Special Servicers List
Special Servicers

Mortgage Servicers service loans for investors. Mortgage servicers are responsible for collecting payments and holding escrows etc.

Special Servicers handle default side of loan servicing.

When a loan goes into default or is going into default a Special Servicer may take over the servicing of the loan.


This is always the case in CMBS (Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities). Most local and regional banks however handle their own loan workouts or special servicing in-house.

Certain residential special servicers are notoriously difficult to work with.

If you are a Realtor brokering a special servicer’s inventory you’re very often out of pocket for a significant amount of repair and maintenance costs on the properties you’re assigned.

If you’re an investor seeking to buy REO (bank owned real estate) you must work through the proper channels. If you are a note investor, however, special servicers can be a great source of non-performing notes.

In the case of REO servicers will direct you the brokers who have listed the property for sale.

Still, making money working for as a broker for a residential special servicer is a high volume low margin game. There’s certainly be money made but it is not without it’s headaches and risk.

Working direct with decision makers at your local and regional lenders should be a much more rewarding and profitable experience.

Commercial Mortgage Backed Security Servicers

Most CMBS default is controlled by a very small group of special servicers. And while these servicers control some 70% of the commercial real estate default business I would suggest to you that the remaining 30% that sits with your local and regional lenders is where you should spend your time.

Below is a list of CMBS special servicers.

BankProspector subscribers have access to a growing list of nearly 200 special servicers, BPO companies, asset management companies and more.

See the Complete Servicers List

Here’s a short list of some of the top special servicers.

BNY Asset Solutions, LLC
Bank of America
CBRE Loan Services
Key Commercial Mortgage
LNR Property LLC
Midland Loan Services, Inc. (now part of PNC)
Ocwen Financial Corporation
Prudential Asset Resources
Situs Servicing, Inc.
TriMont Real Estate Advisors
Wells Fargo Commercial Mortgage Services

21 thoughts on “What are Special Servicers and What Do they Do (Plus a Free List)”

  1. I am trying to buy a property that went through foreclosure, sheriff sale, and LNR is now the servicer it appears. They claim the property is not for sale. How do I find out whether they are the owner of the deed or a servicer, and if just a servicer…what bank with a foreclosed property doesn’t want to sell it?

    • Any bank with a foreclosed property wants to sell it, in fact has to sell it. If you want to find out who owns the property you should check with the agency that stores these records for this location. Typically that will be at the county level, often they’ll have an online service that you can use, in some places you’ll have to actually go to the registry of deeds (or whatever they call it in that county).

    • What type of property is it? SF, MF, Retail, office? LNR is an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group. It is possible that LNR exercised FVO to acquire the property for the purpose of selling it into a Starwood private fund or Starwood Property Trust.

    • Special servicers have to work with the owner of the promissory note to dispose of the property , and are not usually empowered to male unilateral decisions about the disposition of the real estate. I think investors would start to raise a stink if a special servicer had legitimate offers and didn’t take those to the note holder (and continued to generate fees for themselves). Any servicer who would do that would be playing the (very) short game!

    • Patricia I think this is what you’re looking for. It is a business unit within C-III Capital Partners. A special servicer is a servicing company with a focus on distressed and non-performing assets.

      Receivership (link to an interview with a receiver) happens in some corporate bankruptcies or other commercial real estate foreclosure proceedings in order to ensure the upkeep, maintenance, continuity etc of related assets during proceedings at the end of which the assets are typically liquidated.

    • Receivers can also be used when a lender does not want to foreclose and step into title. Typically this is due to some problem (i.e., an environmental issue) that the lender doesn’t want to become responsible for. Different states will have specific rules for the receivership proceedings, and I highly recommend that an attorney who practices in this area is consulted and/or retained for the appointment of the receiver.

  2. There is potentially another reason why a special servicer may not want to sell a foreclosed property. It’s parent or an affiliate may hold a “B piece” typically a lower or unrated tranche in the transaction. As long as they do they have “controlling interest” and can dictate which special servicer is used for the transaction. However losses incurred upon sale and liquidation of properties will eat into this tranche until it is gone and controlling interest passes to the next highest tranche investor. At that point the new controlling class holder can appoint a new special servicer. Holding on to an underwater property prevents this from happening.

  3. Commercial and Multi-Family NPNs and REOs will be my focus. I’ve chosen 2 states,
    but I didn’t see a way to begin listing financial institutions to target in the first unit.
    I hope I’m not in over my head already, I’m just getting started.

    • It may be tough to actually locate the owner of the underlying note, as sometimes the assignment of the note (when they are sold, either individually or in a pool of assets) isn’t recorded. You can/should start with the special servicer, but I find that they are swamped right now …

  4. I am looking for a comprehensive list of Mortgage servicers in the US. But, the catch is that the servicer should not be into mortgage lending. So, the servicer should be strictly into Mortgage Servicing. Where can I find this list?

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