In its final auction, the Resolution Trust Corp. last week sold 5,700 performing and nonperforming loans for a total of $404 million.

The loans sold at the Kansas City, Mo., auction had a book value of $577 million - making for a recovery rate of 70%. Performing loans sold for an average of 87% of book value, while nonperforming loans sold for an average of 50% of book.

These results were "outstanding," said John E. Ryan, the thrift bailout agency's acting chief executive.

"Due in large part to the excellent marketing work of the RTC's staff, we will close our doors on Dec. 31 having achieved a remarkable recovery for the taxpayers," he said. "In less than six years, nearly $500 billion in troubled assets have been sold and removed from the government's inventory at a recovery rate of 87% of book value."

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