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RTC getting rid of small S&Ls

The federal agency disposing of failed savings and loans plans to sell its smallest properties in the next few months in order to free employees to concentrate on the largest properties. "We're much better off administratively if we can sell them (smaller properties) off fast and reduce the bookkeeping and number of people needed to manage them," L. William Seidman, chairman of the Resolution Trust Corp., said last week.

"We want to use our people to move on big assets," he said.

The RTC was created by last year's S&L bailout law. By early this month, it had taken over 492 failed thrifts with assets of $258-billion. It has disposed of 286 of those S&Ls but has had less success in selling the assets owned by the institutions.

In early August, Seidman announced a "great fall inventory clearance sale" to move more than $50-billion in assets by the end of the year.

He said last week that effort had been set back by the cancellation of an auction via international satellite, scheduled for November, but that the agency still might reach its goal.

Seidman first disclosed the RTC's strategy shift toward disposing smaller assets in a speech Wednesday to the Washington Analysis Corp., a subsidiary of National Westminster Bank.

He said more than 76 percent of the 40,000 real estate parcels in his agency's possession have values of less than $100,000.

The RTC also has a large number of delinquent loans with book values of less than $50,000 each. Most of the loans will be packaged and sold to the highest bidder at auctions, he said.

In the January-March 1991 quarter, the agency will conduct a series of auctions and accept sealed bids for almost all real estate properties valued at less than $100,000, he said. Sealed bids will be used in a program aimed at providing homes to poor people.

"The faster disposition of these small assets will maximize returns by freeing up our staff to concentrate on large sales where the real dollars are recovered," Seidman said.