FDIC sells $1B in loans

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has sold about $1 billion in troubled loans from 22 banks that failed during the past 18 months as it works through an inventory of assets from the institutions it has taken over.

The FDIC said Friday that the winning bidder in its auction, Los Angeles-based Colony Capital Acquisitions LLC, paid $90.5 million for a 40 percent stake in the new company set up to hold the commercial real estate loans. The FDIC has the remaining 60 percent.

About 840 of the 1,200 or so “seriously distressed” loans are delinquent, the FDIC said. The agency said 75 percent of the commercial properties involved are located in California, Florida, Georgia and Nevada, which are among the states with the highest numbers of failed banks.

Last year, 140 U.S. banks succumbed to the soured economy and a cascade of loan defaults — the most in a year since 1992 at the height of the savings-and-loan crisis. The failures compare with 25 in 2008 and three in 2007. They cost the federal deposit insurance fund, which fell into the red, more than $30 billion last year.

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair has said the number of bank failures could rise further this year. The agency expects the cost of resolving failed banks to grow to about $100 billion over the next four years.