A vulture firm founded by former Countrywide Financial Corp. president Stanford Kurland filed Friday to raise as much as $750 million in an initial public offering.

According to Securities and Exchange Commission documents, the fund is telling investors that there are "unique" market opportunities in the distressed mortgage market whose size it estimates is at least $1 trillion.

As a technical matter, the unit going public is called PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (a REIT) which will be managed by Private National Mortgage Acceptance Co., a Calabasas-based company that Mr. Kurland formed about two years ago with backing from BlackRock Inc. and Highfields Capital Investments.

To date, PennyMac has made only one sizeable investment, a $558 million portfolio of 2,800 residential loans where it has a cash flow sharing arrangement with the government. PennyMac's chief investment officer is David Spector, former co-head of residential mortgages for Morgan Stanley.

According to PMMIT's S-11 filing, its business plan is to invest mostly in residential loans and provide "attractive risk-adjusted returns to our investors over the long-term, primarily through dividends and secondarily through capital appreciation." It notes that $750 million is the maximum amount it hopes to raise.

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