With the federal guarantees on a large chunk of its student loan portfolio in limbo, River Forest Bancorp saw its nonperforming assets shoot up last year.

The experience has been a study in patience for the $2.1 billion-asset company, which owns nine banks in Chicago and its suburbs. For two years, since it was discovered that employees falsified some collection records, it has awaited word from the Department of Education on whether more than $6.8 million in student loans have lost their guarantees.

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