The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. hopes to sell the $20 billion servicing portfolio of the failed AmTrust Bank of Cleveland some time in the second quarter, according to an agency spokesman.

"It will be done through a competitive auction process," the spokesman said, though he could not provide further details because it is too early in the sale process.

Interested bidders are expected to include some of the nation's top 10 ranked servicers, as well as private-equity firms that have entered the space the past two years or are looking for an entry point, investment banking officials said.

The FDIC spokesman said he had no information regarding the future of AmTrust's servicing platform.

The government took control of AmTrust a month ago, selling its branches and some of its assets to New York Community Bancorp.

The FDIC spokesman said New York Community agreed to service AmTrust's portfolio for "up to a year while we looked for a buyer" for the servicing rights.

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