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Sale of IndyMac banking unit is challenged by trustee

The trustee overseeing the liquidation of the Pasadena based company seeks a Bankruptcy Court order forcing the FDIC to turn over documents and allow some employees to be questioned.

January 14, 2009|Bloomberg News

The trustee overseeing the liquidation of IndyMac Bancorp Inc. is challenging the sale of the company's banking unit and seeking documents from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Alfred Siegel, trustee of the IndyMac estate, requested an order to force the FDIC to turn over papers related to the intended sale and produce some employees for questioning. In papers filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles, Siegel said "certain of those assets may be property of the estate and, therefore, subject to the automatic stay."

Pasadena-based IndyMac was sold to a group of private-equity investors led by Steven Mnuchin of Dune Capital Management, the FDIC said Jan. 2. Details of the sale, expected to be completed by early February, haven't been disclosed, Siegel said.

"The limited documents currently in the trustee's possession raise serious concerns that the FDIC, as receiver for the bank, may possess assets of the debtor, and, therefore, the bankruptcy estate," lawyers for Siegel wrote.

Mnuchin's group controls IMB Management Holdings, a thrift holding company, the FDIC said. The FDIC agreed to let investor groups without bank charters bid for failing lenders after the financial crisis wiped out 25 institutions in 2008.

IndyMac filed for bankruptcy protection Aug. 1, three weeks after it was taken over by the FDIC amid a run by depositors that left it strapped for cash.

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