PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, whose stated goal is to buy problem loans, is trying to sell an $18 million package of mortgages.

A spokesman said last week that the company is auctioning the pool, which includes loans in Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts and North Carolina. They include performing and nonperforming first and second liens. Bank of Manhattan Securities of El Segundo, Calif., is brokering the deal.

PennyMac, a real estate investment trust that went public this summer, is using subservicers to handle the loans in Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts and North Carolina. Its spokesman said PennyMac, of Calabasas, Calif., decided to unload the mortgages "because they determined that the results would be better for borrowers and investors."

In some states where these loans are located, a company must be licensed to both lend and service. (Some states require only a lending license.)

The REIT is run by Private National Mortgage Acceptance Co. LLC, whose loan servicing arm handles about $2.6 billion of mortgages. A large portion of those loans once belonged to American General Financial Services, a unit of American International Group Inc.

PennyMac also is moving into the origination business, forming a conduit. Its spokesman said PennyMac has "aggressively sought licensing in all 50 states" but has not received approval in some of the states where it is servicing the loans that are for sale.

Last year PennyMac bought a $558 million portfolio of loans from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It continues to evaluate portfolios for sale but is currently not buying much. PennyMac is headed by Stanford Kurland, a former president of Countrywide Financial Corp.

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