The Government National Mortgage Association is contemplating selling the $1.3 billion servicing portfolio it seized from Ideal Mortgage Bankers Ltd., the failed lender that used the brand name Lend America.

A Ginnie Mae spokeswoman said the agency recently took control of the portfolio and placed it with a subservicer — LoanCare Servicing Center Inc., a Norfolk, Va., unit of Fidelity National Financial Inc.

"We just completed the transfer and are performing our due diligence," she said. "We cannot make a determination on the sale of servicing rights until that process is completed. Of course, any final decision will be made based on what is in the best interest of taxpayers."

Investment banking sources say the portfolio is suffering from higher-than-average delinquencies.

Ginnie and the Federal Housing Administration suspended Lend America last month. The Melville, N.Y., company laid off most of its work force and is no longer funding new loans.

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