Some of the tax-exempt put bonds backed by Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Co. were teetering on the brink of default late Friday.

A block of 500 bonds were tendered for payment to the remarketing agent -- Shearson Lehman Hutton -- and full payment of par was due to the investors by the close of business Friday. But according to the trustee on the deal, Mutual Benefit and the New Jersey Department of Insurance did not come through with the funds.

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