IRVINE — Lincoln Savings & Loan in Irvine lost $60 million in the third quarter, bringing its net loss for the first nine months to nearly $877 million, federal savings and loan regulators said Tuesday.
Regulators seized Lincoln in April, a day after its parent, American Continental Corp. in Phoenix, filed for bankruptcy. The failed thrift is expected to become one of the costliest taxpayer bailouts, with the tab possibly hitting $2 billion.
But the cost of Lincoln's collapse could be altered significantly by prospects for recovery in the depressed Arizona real estate market, said Kevin O'Connell, an executive with the Office of Thrift Supervision, which oversees federal S&Ls.
Lincoln's $4.7 billion in liabilities exceeds its assets by $1 billion, and that negative net worth contains about $600 million that has been set aside for expected losses on Arizona real estate, in which Lincoln invested heavily.
A rebound in the Arizona market could reduce losses dramatically, O'Connell said, though he acknowledged that any worsening in the market could instead boost losses greatly. "Nobody knows what's going to happen to Arizona real estate," he said.
Meantime, Lincoln's operating costs are exceeding its income by an average of $16.7 million a month. Much of that is in interest expense because half of the S&L's $3.6 billion in deposits comes from high-cost jumbo certificates of deposit brought in by money brokers.