WASHINGTON - The Resolution Trust Corp. said it would auction the right to collect on bad debts with balances totaling about $800 million that had been held by failed savings and loans.

The unusual auction, scheduled for Thursday in Atlanta, will include unpaid balances from judgments on defaulted loans, outstanding balances owed from foreclosed properties, and loans that have been charged off as uncollectable, the RTC said.

Selling the collection right will be more cost-effective than having the RTC attempt to collect even though such auctions only bring 2% to 5% on book value, the agency said.

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