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15. Sovereign Bancorp
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.

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Last updated April 24 2008: 11:01 AM ET