* Dallas-based Plains Capital to use $92 mln to pay TARP

* Florida's 1st United to use $10.5 mln to pay TARP

* First bank IPOs since July 2007

NEW YORK - Two Sunbelt banks filed for initial public offerings on Wednesday to raise money that would be used in part to pay off money owed to the U.S. Treasury, setting the stage for the first U.S. IPOs by banks in more than two years.

Plains Capital Corp, a Dallas-based bank holding company and mortgage lender, plans to raise up to $140 million, according to a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and use about $92 million of that to redeem preferred stock sold to the U.S. government under its Troubled Asset Relief Program.[ID:nWNAB3726]

1st United Bancorp Inc, based in Boca Raton, Florida, is seeking to raise as much as $57.5 million, of which it plans to use $10.5 million to repay funding obtained under the TARP program. The rest will be used for potential acquisitions, according to its own filing.

1st United, whose Chief Executive since 2003, Rudy Schupp, is a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, operates 12 branches in South Florida, and had deposits of $473.4 million as of June 30, 2008,

1st United posted a loss of $1.9 million on net interest income of $10.2 million in the first half of 2009, compared to a loss of $658,000 in the year earlier period. The company has had net losses in three of the past five years.

Though neither bank's prospectus set the terms of their offerings or an estimated timing for the IPOs, the filings come at a time when investors may be more welcoming to financial stocks given their strong performance this year.

The last bank to have an IPO was Encore Bancshares Inc (EBTX.O), which raised $41.6 million in July 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data. But the S&P Small-Cap 600 Index .6GSPF which tracks mid-sized bank stocks is up 53.3 percent since early March.

An important point for any bank stock could come from a bank's relatively strong capitalization, one analyst said.

The banks that have a strong capital base and limited mortgage exposures have not been hit as much, said Scott Sweet, a senior managing partner with advisory firm IPO Boutique.

Plains Capital, founded in 1987, had net interest income of $77.3 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009, up 22 percent from a year earlier, and net income of $26.1 million, up 60 percent over the same period.

As of June 30, 2009, Plains Capital had total assets of approximately $4.4 billion, and total deposits of approximately $2.9 billion.

Plains Capital has applied to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PCB, while 1st United has applied to list on Nasdaq under a symbol to be determined.

The Plains Capital IPO will be bookrun by J.P. Morgan, while 1st United's will be led by Stifel Nicolaus. (Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)