Sun Bancorp Inc., Vineland, took a step to clear problem loans off its balance sheet, selling $87 million of commercial real estate loans to a group of investors for net proceeds of $54 million.

Sun had already written the loans down to $77 million. The bank said today it expected to record a loss of $25 million on the sale in the fourth quarter.

Problem loans are those on which borrowers are behind in payments.

"Problem loan resolution is a process that requires looking at each situation individually and assessing it for either workout or sale. We believe that selling these loans was the best course of action," Sun president and chief executive Thomas X. Geisel said in a statement.    -Harold Brubaker