Sales of distressed commercial real estate over the past 12 months totaled $458 million in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas office market had the most sales at $145 million, followed by $113 million in industrial properties, $102 million in apartments, $53 million in hotels, and $45 million in retail.

Mark Gaylord, a partner with Ballard Spahr, said some developers and property owners wish lenders would have foreclosed on the properties two years ago when values were higher because they are on the hook for more money. Developers are seeking bankruptcy protection but some get the wrong idea that it can help them maximize their equity in a property rather than be realistic and try to minimize their liability, Mr. Gaylord said.