Thornburg Mortgage, once a top ranked originator of "super jumbo" loans, said Tuesday it may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has hired the law firm of Kirkland and Ellis to advise it on restructuring options.

A REIT that is publicly traded on the "pink sheets," Thornburg said its lenders — which include such names as Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase, and Greenwich Capital — have agreed to give it certain forbearances on its loans through March 31.

The company was de-listed by New York Stock Exchange late last year. Its shares trade for just 2 cents compared to an all time high of $140. It has an on-balance sheet portfolio of roughly $20 billion that it services on a monthly basis and needs to finance.

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