Former Washington Mutual Chief Executive Kerry Killinger on Tuesday said regulators unfairly seized the Seattle-based thrift in September 2008 and sold it to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for a bargain price of $1.9 billion.

In prepared testimony before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Killinger said that, while the company suffered from rising loan losses, it was working its way through the financial crisis.

Killinger, who was paid more than $100 million between 2003 and 2008, was forced out in 2008.

The subcommittee is holding the first of four hearings on the causes and consequences of the financial crisis. Killinger and other former Washington Mutual executives will testify today about the role of high-risk loans in the thrift's downfall.

(Reporting by Dan Margolies; Editing by Derek Caney)