Wells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive John Stumpf said Friday his company's handling of at-risk, underwater mortgages helps support the nation's housing prices and also offers borrowers better options than other large lenders.

Stumpf told investors at a conference in Boston that Wells' effort to lower borrowers' monthly payments helps borrowers stay in their homes. Helping borrowers avoid foreclosure or short sales can help stabilize sliding housing prices by keeping inventories of for-sale homes at lower levels.

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