) --How bad is the mortgage crisis?

It's so bad that the

TST Recommends

Mortgage Bankers Association

had to sell its headquarters at a loss.

Sounds like one of those jokes that make the rounds on the Internet, but sadly this one is true.

The Mortgage Bankers Association sold its Washington headquarters building to


(CSGP) - Get Report

, a commercial real estate data firm, for $41.3 million, a little more than half the $79 million the group originally financed in 2007 through a group of banks led by

PNC Financial

(PNC) - Get Report

, according to the

Wall Street Journal


This is more than a little embarrassing for a group that represents some 2,400 lenders, loan brokers, commercial banks, thrifts and life insurance companies.

You expect more from a group whose directors include executives from

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report



(KEY) - Get Report

and other notable financial companies and whose sponsors for its 2009 annual convention included big banks such as


(C) - Get Report


Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

along with

Fannie Mae


Freddie Mac




affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association should have known better.

--Written by Glenn Hall in New York.

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