The SBA collected $308.9 million in payments on defaulted loans and the sale of loan collateral for the 1997 fiscal year, the agency said last week.

The collections total is 16% more than in the previous year. About 30% of delinquent borrowers repay their loans.

Because the SBA partially guarantees loans, lenders may ask the agency to buy these portions of loans more than 60 days overdue. Then the SBA either collects directly from the borrower or sells the loan collateral.

The SBA bought $501 million of delinquent loans in fiscal 1997.

The federal agency began an effort in 1996 to streamline its collections procedures to recover more from delinquent borrowers.

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