Bank of America Corp. once the nation's largest residential mortgage lender, has dropped to third place, defeating the original purpose of its ill-fated takeover of Countrywide Financial Corp.

In the three years since Bank of America bought the massive home lender, it has hemorrhaged billions of dollars on bad home loans — losing executives, lines of business, and its title as the largest bank by assets along the way. Its tumble from the top of the mortgage rankings is a particularly painful comeuppance for B of A, which bought Countrywide intending to dominate the mortgage market, and an illustration of just how dramatically the financial crisis has reshaped the home-loan industry.

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