NEW YORK - The financing arm of General Motors Corp. remained silent yesterday on whether it had raised enough capital to become a bank holding company - and, thus, eligible for access to billions in federal bailout money.
Analysts have speculated that if GMAC Financial Services L.L.C. doesn't obtain financial help it would have to file for bankruptcy protection or shut down, which would be a serious blow to parent GM's own chances for survival.
The company's subsidiary, mortgage lender Residential Capital L.L.C., is based in Fort Washington, Pa., and has 1,400 employees in the Philadelphia area. GMAC has said ResCap is in danger of failing without the federal rescue.
GMAC received the Federal Reserve's approval to become a bank holding company last week, but the approval was contingent on the auto and home loan provider's raising at least $30 billion in regulatory capital.
The company attempted to raise the needed funds through a complex debt-for-equity exchange that expired at 11:59 p.m. Friday.
In an e-mail yesterday, GMAC spokeswoman Gina Proia said GMAC still had no news to announce regarding the debt swap. That came after Saturday e-mails that did not provide any specifics but said that GMAC planned to announce the results of the debt swap soon.
Becoming a bank holding company would both qualify GMAC to access the government's bank rescue funds and support GMAC loans to car buyers and GM dealerships. General Motors Corp. owns 49 percent of GMAC.
The Federal Reserve apparently wanted to be sure bondholders were willing to inject more capital into GMAC. The bondholders wanted reassurance that the Fed would approve GMAC's application to qualify for federal aid.
If the financing company fails to become a banking company, it could hurt GM.
General Motors' ownership of GMAC has kept the finance arm lending to dealers and car buyers, even as credit from traditional banks has dried up. If GMAC goes under, other institutions aren't likely to step in to replace the credit lost by GM's dealers and customers.
The Fed's approval came as GMAC was struggling to get bondholders to convert 75 percent of their debt into equity of the company.