THE Resolution Trust Company (RTC), the government agency charged with cleaning up the mess left by the widespread failure of United States' savings and loan institutions, has announced a series of initiatives for smaller investors. They are designed to allow groups with moderate resources a greater opportunity to have a hand in the disposal of millions of dollars worth of assets still held by the agency. ''Small investors want more opportunities to compete in purchasing RTC assets. This is a desire we intend to satisfy'' said Mr Roger Altman, interim RTC chief executive officer. ''We will make sure there is an organised programme with a mandate to reach this important source of investment capital.'' The investors which the RTC wants to reach are individuals or small investor groups with ''the capacity to pursue offerings of up to US$5 million in real estate-owned assets; loans or subsidiaries of up to $25 million; and who have sufficient capital to make equity investments of up to $9 million in joint-venture transactions''. The most enticing new measure is the up to 85 per cent seller financing. Another promise from the RTC is that each new real estate asset offering will be available for stand-alone purchase for at least 120 days. According to the RTC: ''A compelling argument will have to be made before real estate assets are moved into a portfolio after this 120-day period.'' A new appeals committee will continue this process. The committee will have the power to review any offer of purchase for an asset included in a portfolio sale. Auctions will be held more frequently and their geographic focus will be narrowed. Portfolios of non-performing loans limited to a maximum pool size of $10 million book value will be offered. But the larger pools of around $50 million will continue to be auctioned, although these will now be put together with a tighter geographical focus. The non-refundable bidder entry deposit for non-performing loan auctions will be reduced to $100,000. A new series of auctions will be launched with no more than $9 million of private capital needed to participate in a number of $25-$60 million joint ventures with the RTC. Also, the asset management and disposition contractors who have played a vital intermediary role in the packaging of blocks of assets for disposal, now will be instructed to emphasise individual non-performing loan sales, settlements or restructuring. Advertising and marketing efforts will be expanded to reach more potential bidders. But there is likely to be some scepticism about the new moves. The agency has closed or sold 654 savings and loans institutions and reached asset sales of over $316 billion. The RTC has already put together multi-million-dollar packages which have been aggressively bid by major institutional groups. A RTC auction last November put loans with a book value of $500 million up for auction. But there has been concern that remaining RTC assets are bottom of the barrel. The major institutional investors have been presented with the pick of the RTC assets for the past year at a time when the value remained at its lowest. The November auction disposed of its assets at 65 cents on the dollar. The price of non-performing loans and real estate assets is already starting to rise as investor confidence begins to return. Ms Anne Freeman, a spokesperson for the RTC, admitted that many of the most attractive assets have already been sold.