Depositors of federally insured thrifts placed in receivership will be given priority over unsecured general creditors in the event of liquidation in those states that already have depositor preference, according to a final rule adopted by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.

Currently eight states have depositor preference laws - Utah, Georgia, Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.The action enhances a June 23 ruling that set forth procedures for uniform administration of Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. (FSLIC) receiverships and a priority structure for resolution of unsecured claims. At the top of that priority structure are administrative expenses of the association and receivership and claims for unpaid taxes other than federal income taxes.

The final rule, scheduled to take effect on the date of publication in the Federal Register, puts the payment of depositors' accounts first in line after non-Internal Revenue Service tax claims in the event of a liquidation of an insolvent savings and loan in a depositor preference state. Only after depositors' claims are settled will other unsecured claims be addressed.