Heritage Community Bancorp Inc. in Glenwood, Ill., is once again looking for a lifeline after an agreement to receive a cash infusion from First Community Financial Partners of Joliet expired Dec. 31.

In early November the $462 million-asset First Community agreed to inject $15 million into Heritage in exchange for majority control. Heritage's bank subsidiary was to join First Community's network of community banks in suburban Chicago under the agreement.

Glen Stiteley, First Community's chief financial officer, said in a brief interview Wednesday that a nonbinding letter of intent his company signed with Heritage has expired. He declined to give any further details.

The $228 million-asset Heritage has been under orders from state and federal regulators since October to draft and implement a plan to raise capital, improve credit quality, and make management changes. At Sept. 30, Heritage had a total risk-based capital to assets ratio of 6.33%, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. A bank is considered to be undercapitalized if that ratio is below 8%.

Michael Paoletta, Heritage's president, said in a statement e-mailed Wednesday to American Banker that the bank is "in active discussions with equity investors regarding possible transactions to enhance the capital position of the bank."

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