Government-guaranteed finance company Equitable Mortgages called in receivers yesterday.

The Auckland-based financial institution has around 6000 depositors and approximately $178 million in Crown-guaranteed deposits.

Eligible depositors with Equitable Mortgages can claim repayment from the Crown, Treasury's deputy secretary of financial operations Phil Combes said yesterday.

Equitable Mortgages asked its trustee to appoint receivers to the company, which is a default triggering the Crown's guarantee under the terms of the Extended Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

Mr Combes expected information gathering to take about eight weeks, given the Christmas/New Year holidays, and asked depositors to be patient.

The company also had about $12 million of non-guaranteed deposits it marketed as "Classic Debentures". Mr Combes said the Crown would not repay deposits it had not guaranteed.