The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) next week will begin exploring investor appetite for $1 billion worth of mostly nonperforming whole loans that belonged to the now-defunct AmTrust Bank of Cleveland, market sources told National Mortgage News.

Normally, the agency lists asset sales on its Web site but because this offering is likely to be a "structured sale" there is presently no information available to the general public.

One investment banker familiar with the matter described the offering as "mostly residential, nonperforming whole loans," adding that the actual bidding will commence sometime in mid-June.

An FDIC spokesman said he could not comment but advised that when the agency engages in "private placements we just don't want anyone to come in and bid.

Some of these are complex transactions." AmTrust, a thrift, failed late last year with most of its branches and assets sold to New York Community Bank. But NYCB did not want the thrift's servicing portfolio or NPLs. The servicing, about $23 billion worth, also is up for bid.

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