Since buying Great Western Financial last July, Washington Mutual Inc. has trumpeted its ambition to be California's leading mortgage lender. But Bank of America has remained firmly in the lead.

Washington Mutual's share of the market has hovered around 5% since October, and Bank of America's around 7%, according to Experian Real Estate Solutions, a research firm based in Anaheim Hills, Calif. In fact Bank of America has made small but steady gains in share since January.

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