Out of an original field of 10 or so bidders, Selene Residential Mortgage Opportunity Fund which includes MBS co-inventor Lewis Ranieri — has won the auction for roughly 1,000 REO properties that belong to the bankrupt Taylor, Bean & Whitaker of Ocala, Fla.

A court is expected to certify the Selene bid on Tuesday, said one official close to the deal. The purchase price is in the range of $80 million but could turn out to be lower with some REO properties falling out of the pool before closing, said the official who requested his name not be used.

"This package of properties is not risk free," he said. "Some are practically lots." The single-family properties being purchased are located across the U.S. with a somewhat heavy concentration in California.

The Selene RMOF is affiliated with Selene Finance, a Houston-based specialty servicer and REO workout firm.

Selene is privately held and does not disclose its servicing or REO portfolio size. A nondepository mortgage banking firm that relied on warehouse lines of credit, TBW filed for bankrupt protection this summer and is in the process of being liquidated

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