WASHINGTON - A rule that takes effect Sept. 30 will ease the way for national banks selling repossessed real estate.

The rule, to be published Thursday in the Federal Register, will allow national banks to accept a borrower's interest payments as part of the 10% down payment needed to get a loan to purchase repossessed real estate. The only part of a loan payment that can now count toward the down payment is the portion applied to principal.

Also, no new appraisal will be required when a real estate loan goes bad or when repossessed real estate is sold, as long as a valid appraisal exists.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said $1.6 billion in repossessed single-family to four-family homes are most likely to be affected by the rule. More than $15 billion more in real estate owned by national banks also could be affected.

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