Standard & Poor's Corp. said Wednesday that credit ratings on commercial mortgage-backed securities may suffer as the recession makes it difficult for borrowers to refinance balloon loans, especially in the near term.

In a recent review, the ratings agency focused on commercial mortgage-backed bonds from 1999 and 2004, the years with the biggest amounts of debt maturing this year. Of those already matured in 2009, 25% of the 1999 loans and 48% of 2004 loans have been transferred to special servicers for default, S&P said.

Though commercial delinquencies have long lagged those in the residential market, they have been accelerating since mid-2008 as the recession deepened, vacancies grew and new owners have been unable to refinance mortgages.

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