WASHINGTON - The Small Business Administration will auction $1.16 billion of SBA-backed loans on Dec. 5 in its third asset sale.

The loans, to be divided into 46 pools, include small-business, community development, and direct disaster loans with maturities ranging from two to 20 years.

"Instead of servicing and collecting on loans, we can redirect our efforts to help SBA business owners with their businesses," said Fred P. Hochberg, SBA deputy administrator.

The SBA plans to auction almost $10 billion of loans by fiscal 2003. The two previous sales, held in August 1999 and August 2000, generated $725 million of revenue and cleared $1.5 billion of unpaid principal from the agency's books.

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