An Internet start-up that lists credit card portfolios for sale is beginning to take off. Begun last July. AssetExchange.com is about to close its first deal, a portfolio worth $21 million, and it is negotiating with one of the top 10 credit card lenders.

The Portland, Ore.-based company, started by a former U.S. Bancorp executive, William Koo, offers a less-expensive alternative to the standard way of selling credit card assets, which requires hiring an investment banker, who may charge more than 3% of the portfolio's value. By contrast, AssetExchange charges a fee of less than 0.5% of a portfolio's value once a deal is consummated.

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