INTRODUCTION In the modern financial services industry, thrifts 1 engage in an unprecedented range of complex and risky commercial transactions. Consequently, the receiver of a failed thrift, which in most cases is the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) appointed by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), 2 is likely to face a host of complex claims. These claims arise not only from the thrift's deposit liabilities but also from its investment transactions and the incidental disputes generated by such activities. The scene of a thrift failure is often already strewn with litigation, and the receivership itself is likely to generate still more. 3 Even if litigation has not yet commenced, the receiver has to pay the thrift's valid credit obligations and so has to distinguish good claims from bad and quantify the former. In the process of accepting, settling or rejecting a diverse and complex range of creditor claims, disputes concerning their validity will have to be resolved informally or, if this cannot be done, either through the judicial process or by administrative adjudication. The latter process is the subject of this study. The importance of this claims determination process has grown with the escalation of thrift failures in recent years. 4 Although, with the assistance of the FSLIC, many insolvent thrifts can be restored to financial health, sold or merged, a significant number have already proven so irretrievable that the FHLBB has had to place them into liquidation. As of July 1, 1988, ...

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