Lehman said in court papers that federal regulators have ordered the Wilmington, Del., bank, Lehman Brothers Bank FSB, to obtain more cash by Feb. 28 so it can meet certain capital requirements that will allow it to continue operating.
At the end of last year, Lehman Brothers Bank's capital had fallen about $180 million below the "adequately capitalized" level required by federal regulators, according to court papers filed Wednesday.
The firm is seeking to shore up the bank's capital by pumping up to $15 million in cash into the unit and entering into a deal with the bank's loan-servicing unit, Aurora Loan Services LLC.
Under the settlement, Lehman will transfer its rights to service certain residential mortgage loans that Lehman says will add some $189 million to the banks coffers. Together with the cash, Lehman says, should be enough to raise the regulatory capital level at the bank to keep the Office of Thrift Supervision from moving to seize it.
Lehman says that in recent months, its equity in the bank has shrunk to $467 million from nearly $1 billion. The bank has assets, consisting of its loan portfolio and deposits of $6.5 billion and debts of $6.5 billion.
Last week, Lehman made a similar request to shore up the capital at its Woodlands Commercial Bank, based in Salt Lake City. Lehman is asking for court permission to make an initial $200 million infusion to ensure Woodlands meets capital requirements.
Federal regulators have ordered Woodlands to obtain more cash by Feb. 20.
Lehman says that without the investments, regulators will take over and liquidate both banks at what are likely to be "fire sale" prices, wiping out any value for Lehman as it winds down in bankruptcy and recovers money for creditors.
The investment bank is asking U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Peck to sign off on the settlements at a Tuesday hearing in Manhattan.