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National Briefing / DELAWARE

WaMu holding firm is bankrupt

September 28, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Washington Mutual Inc., a holding company for the savings and loan that became the biggest U.S. bank to fail, has filed for bankruptcy, listing more than $8 billion in debt.

WaMu, the 119-year-old Seattle-based thrift, sought Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., late Friday, according to court records.

The filing covered the bank's holding company and its WMI Investment Corp. unit. WaMu's banking subsidiary was seized Sept. 25 by U.S. government regulators after customers withdrew $16.7 billion over 10 days.

WaMu is the latest victim of the credit crunch, which forced New York-based Lehman Brothers and IndyMac Bancorp into bankruptcy, drove Merrill Lynch to sell itself to Bank of America and brought about the Federal Reserve-financed purchase of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase.

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