in Southern California, but one of the worst-impacted thrifts continues to have surprising success in resolving quake-jolted credits. A reduction in nonperforming assets gave Quaker City Bancorp, the parent company for Quaker City Federal Savings and Loan Association of Whittier, a substantial boost for its first fiscal quarter of 1996. For the period ended Sept. 30, Quaker City reported net earnings of $775,000, compared with $483,000 in the comparable period a year earlier. Jerry L. Thomas, Quaker's president and chief executive officer, said the company has pursued its goal of resolving restructured loans related to property damaged in the earthquake. The thrift, which went public two years ago, has been taking back a motley assortment of damaged and abandoned apartment houses since shortly after the quake. A team of officers has been responsible for repairing them enough for a quick sale. "What they're saying is that they don't restructure loans, and I think that's a reasonable strategy," said Charlotte Chamberlain, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles. "They don't want the properties sitting around. They want to get them back on the market and get rid of them." Many of the thrift's loans for multifamily residences were in limbo after the Jan. 17, 1994, quake forced the abandonment of damaged structures until repairs could be made, depriving landlords of loan payment income. With little equity, borrowers were given the option of continuing to make payments or being allowed to walk away and pass title to the thrift. Mr. Thomas said few of the borrowers were able to return to original contract terms. "Consequently, we have a group of loans working their way through the foreclosure process and therefore now in nonaccrual status," he said. "Ultimately, as we acquire title to the properties securing these loans, they will be sold and (the proceeds) reinvested in interest-earning assets." Nonperforming assets for the $657 million-asset thrift were reduced $1.4 million during the first quarter, to 2.36% of assets through Sept. 30. A year earlier, the company's nonperforming assets stood at 3.91% of assets. Nonperformers peaked in June 1994 at about $22 million. The company included as nonperforming assets all loans 60 days or more past due, troubled restructured loans, and real estate acquired through foreclosure. During the past quarter, non-accrual loans increased $1.5 million because of the reclassification of $2.1 million of shaky restructured loans to nonaccrual status, and real estate acquired through foreclosure declined $844,000. As of Sept. 30, Quaker City Federal had loan-loss provisions totaling just over $200,000 for its first fiscal quarter of 1996, nearly halving 1995's provisions, which were $395,000.
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