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GMAC mum on federal bailout hurdle after deadline passes

GRAND BLANC, Mich. — Even after a crucial deadline came and went, the financing arm of General Motors Corp. remained silent Saturday on whether it cleared a final hurdle to become a bank holding company and gain access to billions in federal bailout money.

Analysts have speculated that if GMAC Financial Services LLC 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.

GMAC had received the Federal Reserve’s approval to become a bank holding company earlier in the week, but the approval was contingent on the ailing auto and home loan provider completing a complicated debt-for-equity exchange by 11:59 p.m. EST Friday.

In an e-mail early Saturday, GMAC spokeswoman Gina Proia did not provide any specifics.

“The offer did expire yesterday at 11:59 p.m. as planned. We have not yet issued final results but intend to in the near term. I have no further comment on the exchange until then,” she wrote.

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. GM owns 49 percent of GMAC.

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