Thrift depositors may get some long-lost savings before Christmas as officials begin carrying out the $103 million settlement from the state next week.

The first distribution, to be mailed next week, is financed by the state's $29 million cash portion of settlement of a class action lawsuit filed by thousands of thrift depositors who lost their savings in the collapse of five Utah thrift and loans, officials said Friday."Everything is on schedule so far as we are concerned. We will be preparing the checks over the weekend and they will be mailed out the 21st (Wednesday)," said Dallas Bradford, managing partner of the Salt Lake office of Arthur Anderson & Co., which is handling the settlement distribution.

From the settlement, depositors hope to receive about 98 percent of the money they had on deposit when state regulators shut down the institutions and froze accounts on July 31, 1986. Attorneys' fees, totaling $5.8 million, and other expenses relating to the court battle must be paid by depositors.

With legal fees subtracted, next week's distribution should bring the total recovery to about 74 percent for all 15,000 depositors, said Sheila Bohard, spokeswoman for DOIT, a group organized by 15,000 thrift depositors.

She said the first set of checks to be cut will go toward reimbursing depositors who contributed a total of $300,000 to DOIT's legal fund, while the rest of the initial settlement distribution will go toward depositor accounts.

The settlement was approved in early October, but depositor and court approvals and arranging for the settlement distributions took more than a month to accomplish. Officials hoped to have checks mailed before Christmas.