The bankruptcy court overseeing the liquidation of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. has approved a "stalking horse" bid on the lender's portfolio of almost 2,000 repossessed properties, according to a memo obtained by National Mortgage News.

The memo, dated Dec. 3, notes that the portfolio has been appraised at $330 million, though the amount of the stalking-horse bid is unclear. The term is a strategy used by a bankrupt company (in this case, Taylor Bean) whereby it obtains an initial bid on its assets from an interested buyer of its choosing.

Taylor Bean's chief restructuring officer plans to accept competing bids on Dec. 9.

The Ocala, Fla., company filed for bankruptcy protection in August after the Department of Housing and Urban Development pulled its Federal Housing Administration credentials.

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