Fortune 500 rank: 469
2007 loss: $1.35 billion
The booming housing market drew many carpetbaggers like Sovereign, a community bank based in the Northeast, into hot markets like Florida and Arizona. But when those markets soured,
Sovereign's auto and mortgage loans did too. Sovereign lost $709 million on its loan portfolio in 2007.
That led to $1.6 billion of write-downs in the value of Sovereign's auto-lending business and the company's stake in Independence Bank, which it acquired in 2006. Sovereign stopped
originating new loans in the Southwest and Southeast in December.NEXT: Sanmina-SCI