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Who's No. 1 in aiding mortgageholders? Think small.

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Banks have made uneven strides toward modifying mortgages so that delinquent borrowers can hold onto their homes.

CitiMortgage has modified 15 percent of its estimated eligible delinquent home loans, the federal government reported (.pdf) Tuesday. But Bank of America has only done 4 percent. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank has modified 20 percent; Wachovia Mortgage, only 2 percent.

But one bank has them all beat. Lake National Bank, a small community lender in Mentor, Ohio, has modified 100 percent of all its delinquent home loans.

It helps that the four-year-old bank doesn't have a big mortgage portfolio, sits in an economically diversified part of northeast Ohio, and didn't go crazy during the housing boom. "Like most community banks, we pretty much continued to do things the old-fashioned way," says Andy Meinhold, the bank's chief operating officer.


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