Sabal Financial, a Newport Beach, Calif., firm that invests in distressed assets, has acquired $69 million of loans from BB&T (BBT) of Winston-Salem, N.C.

In a news release Thursday, the company said that the assets are land and commercial real estate loans primarily in the Carolinas, but also in Florida, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Georgia.

Sabal has acquired roughly $500 million of loans from banks over the last 10 months and its deal with BB&T increases its total assets under management to $3.75 billion.

"The need for banks to clear their balance sheets [of problem loans] remains strong," Pat Jackson, Sabal's chief executive said. "We work closely with bank executives to analyze the value and best solutions for resolving their balance-sheet issues."

The company also recently entered the lending business, hiring a former Bank of America executive in June to lead a team that lends to homebuilders in California, Oregon and Washington.

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