Home BancShares Inc. in Conway, Ark., said it recovered $4.4 million in chargeoffs booked in the fourth quarter.

The recoveries secured last week included $3 million from litigation in New York and $1.4 million from collection action taken in Arkansas.

The $3.7 billion-asset company posted a huge jump in net chargeoffs, to $53.4 million during the fourth quarter from $3 million in the third quarter.

Home said that it would add the recent recoveries to its loan-loss reserves, which continued to rise through the company's first quarter.

The company's loan-loss allowance was about $53.6 million at March 31, covering 160% of nonperforming loans that were not covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

In April, Home reported earnings of $12.7 million in the first quarter, which was down slightly from a year earlier.

"In January, when Home BancShares released our 2010 fourth-quarter results, we promised to aggressively pursue repayment of chargeoffs," John Allison, the company's chairman, said in a press release late Tuesday.

"This recovery is important, but make no mistake: additional collection efforts will continue for any and all chargeoffs we've incurred," Allison added.

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