Black Friday shoppers hunting for holiday bargains won't be enough to stave off what's likely to become the next economic crisis. Malls from Michigan to Georgia are entering foreclosure, commercial victims of the same events poisoning the housing market. Hotels in Tucson, Ariz., and Hilton Head, SC, also are about to default on their mortgages.
That pace is expected to quicken. The number of late payments and defaults will double, if not triple, by the end of next year, according to analysts from Fitch Ratings Ltd, which evaluates companies' credit. "We're probably in the first inning of the commercial mortgage problem," said a New Jersey real estate lawyer.