DENVER — Centrix Financial, the beleaguered subprime lender owing millions to credit unions, won clearance from a U.S. bankruptcy judge last week to begin the process for selling the company to an East Coast investment/insurance group. That group includes Centrix CEO Robert Sutton, but bidding procedures could bring in other suitors in the interim.

That was the word from attorneys for a creditor group representing scores of CUs, both big and small, which have Centrix loans in their portfolios and many of which have been represented by Denver, Chicago and New York counsel at proceedings in the Denver court.

Following two days of hearings on schedules and timetables for Centrix' Chapter 11 reorganization petition, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Brown approved Jan. 11-12 as the auction dates on Centrix' servicing assets, but all parties in the case can file objections to the sale before then with new buyers possibly surfacing.

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