The once-mighty Lomas Financial Corp., Dallas, is selling itself off in pieces after trying to sell its complete operations for over a year.

Industry sources say Lomas is selling its servicing portfolio, one of its remaining assets, to New York financier Ronald O. Perelman and his First Nationwide Bank of San Francisco.

Recently, Lomas' property inspection and preservation unit was sold to First American Financial Corp., Santa Ana, Calif. And last year, Prudential Home Mortgage bought Lomas' information services unit.

The deals would leave Lomas, once the No. 1 mortgage company, as a stripped-down operation with a big Ginnie Mae presence and a small servicing business as its principal activities.

Lomas officials could not be reached for comment.

The company has been sitting on the auction block since early 1994. The $25 billion servicing portfolio is considered by many in the industry to be the only sellable part of what is left of Lomas Mortgage USA, the mortgage unit of Lomas Financial. The servicing rights could fetch about $300 million, according to industry estimates.

Despite Lomas' money trouble, the company has remained a big government lender, generating $561 million of Ginnie Maes in the first half and ranking fifth in the nation behind such giants as Countrywide, Norwest, Prudential, and GE Capital.

Meanwhile, the imminent sale of Prudential's home mortgage unit could mean money in Lomas' pocket.

When Lomas sold its money-losing but highly regarded information services unit to Prudential's Residential Services Corp. in December 1994, Lomas received $2.5 million in cash, an $8 million note due in five years, and a commitment to contingency payments through 2001. The total package had the potential to bring Lomas more than $100 million, according to Standard & Poor's.

The deal stipulated that if Prudential sold the company, Lomas had the right to accelerate payment of the $8 million note. Final bids for Prudential's home mortgage unit, which was put up for sale in March, were due last week.

MacAndrews & Forbes Holding Inc., Mr. Perelman's investment company, has a reputation as an acquirer of ailing financial institutions. Its bank, First Nationwide, bought San Francisco Federal Bank last week.

MacAndrews & Forbes bought five ailing Texas thrifts for $315 million in late 1988 in deals structured by Gerald J. Ford, a Texas banker. The thrifts were then combined into one entity, renamed First Texas Bank, which was run by Mr. Ford.

The purchase of the thrifts from the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. allowed Mr. Perelman to reap enormous tax benefits in the late 1980s.

Lomas has been plagued by financial difficulties since its heyday in the 1980s. The company emerged from bankruptcy protection in 1992 after suffering heavy losses in Texas real estate during the 1980s.

Shortly after that, Lomas ran into more financial problems when interest rates plunged in 1993, causing heavy losses in the company's servicing rights portfolio.

Lomas Field Services Inc., the property inspection and preservation unit of Lomas Mortgage, was bought by First American, effective Aug. 31. The inspection company, renamed First American Field Services, will keep its employees.

Lomas reported a loss of $25 million in its third fiscal quarter, which ended March 31. The loss reflected pension payments for 200 employee layoffs and an office building the company put up for sale.

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