WASHINGTON — As the government puts the finishing touches on a plan that may never be used, Small Business Administration lenders are wondering whether there isn't a more effective way to spend $15 billion.

The Treasury Department is trying to hammer out legal details for a scheme to use Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to buy SBA-backed loans. Officials announced the $15 billion plan in mid-March, when SBA lenders were finding it hard to sell their loans in exchange for funds they could use to make new loans. But that secondary market has since rebounded, and the broker-dealers who buy SBA loans from lenders say they are no longer interested in selling their loan pools to the government.

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