These loans factored heavily in the
failure of Washington Mutual and nearly caused Wachovia to fail, before it was sold to Wells Fargo (which trumped a bid from Citigroup ( C) that now seems like ancient history). JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) recently announced plans to modify mortgage terms for up to 400,000 borrowers, many of whom had option-ARMs the bank inherited when it purchased Washington Mutual's loans and deposits from the FDIC. Bank of America ( BAC) has a similar loan modification program for loans it acquired when it purchased Countrywide. Downey had total assets of $12.8 billion and $9.7 billion in deposits. The FDIC estimated the loss to its deposit insurance fund from Downey's failure would be $1.4 billion. The institution had been assigned a D- (Weak) financial strength rating by TheStreet.com Ratings back in March. The most recent ratings were based on June 30 financial reports, and Downey's relatively high capital ratios kept the rating from falling further. As we discussed last week , Downey's leverage ratio of 7.48% and risk-based capital ratio of 14.50% were well above the normal regulatory requirements of 5% and 10%, respectively, for a bank or thrift to be considered well-capitalized. The ratios also exceeded the respective minimum capital ratios of 7% and 14% required by an OTS consent order the institution entered into Sept. 5.