Borrowers flee empty malls, and bond investors brace for fallout

THE NUMBER OF mall loans issued since the financial crisis identified as “highest risk” has almost tripled to 29 this year, according to Wells Fargo & Co. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/MATT TOWNSEND
THE NUMBER OF mall loans issued since the financial crisis identified as “highest risk” has almost tripled to 29 this year, according to Wells Fargo & Co. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/MATT TOWNSEND
NEW YORK - Things are getting worse for malls across America. So much worse that their owners are walking away early from struggling properties, a trend that has mortgage bond investors bracing for losses. Mall operators, eyeing defaults caused or made more likely by shuttered stores such as Sears Holdings Corp., are handing over their…

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