Here are relevant stories: here and here . The gist? "The guidance would ease requirements for collateral and other guarantees in many cases. Borrowers in investor pools known as Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits would be allowed to refinance some loans without paying tax penalties."
Why should this have happened sooner? Pain, that's why. As the WSJ notes,
"Until now, tax rules have made it difficult for borrowers who are current on their payments to hold restructuring talks with the servicers of these bonds. Developers and investors complain that only those who are delinquent can talk to the servicers. Indeed, many property owners -- notably mall giant General Growth Properties Inc., now in bankruptcy protection -- have cited this lack of flexibility as one of the reasons for having to default on debt and give up properties."
Not much time to post more today except to say this should have been done a long time ago. Apparently more guidance is to come. Hopefully that will happen soon.