Preliminary bids are in for the mortgage assets of Maryland's Standard Federal Savings Bank. and General Electric and Countrywide Credit are among the hopefuls.

Standard Federal, seized in October 1992, is being marketed by the Resolution Trust Corp. through Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Reserve Financial Trading Group.

The first batch of bids came in at the end of July, and early word has it that interest was strong. "About five parties are interested in buying the whole thing, and as many as a dozen companies bid on the servicing rights alone," said an investment banker.

Besides GE Capital Mortgage Corp., Raleigh, N.C., and Countrywide Credit Industries, Pasadena. Calif., sources believe that an investor group led by Texas banker Gerald J. Ford is among the bidders. Names of others in the running could not be learned.

Due diligence is to begin Monday, according to an RTC spokeswoman, with final bids due in October.

Though the mortgage loan servicing portfolio of Standard Federal was once the fifth-largest in the nation -- about $32 billion in June 1992 -- both time and last year's refinancing boom have taken their toll. The portfolio now stands at about $l 1 billion.

That is still a substantial book of loans, however. and might fetch as much as $140 million if other recent sales are any indication.

Besides the servicing rights, Standard Federal also has a highly advanced servicing center at its headquarters in Gaithersville. Md. Standard Federal has a small production division, but that is being wound down, according to the RTC, and will not be sold.

The sale of mortgage banking assets of Cartetet Savings Bank, another RTC property, is also pending.

That sale is being handled by Reserve Financial. Carteret, which was seized in December 1992, has a servicing portfolio of about $3,5 billion.

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