The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has shifted its policy on voiding oral contracts made by banks and thrifts before failure.

The new guidelines, published in the Feb. 10 Federal Register, attempt to clarify when the FDIC will invoke the so-called D'Oench Duhme legal doctrine, the combination of court decisions and laws that gives the agency the power to void secret deals between banks and borrowers or vendors that could drain a failed bank's assets.

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