Wells Fargo’s first-quarter conference call yielded an interesting personal detail about the banking giant’s CEO: He’s been underwater on his mortgage, too. Wells Fargo, the country’s largest mortgage servicer behind Bank of America, continues to face difficulty and great costs to help troubled mortgage borrowers stay current. Borrowers in areas where home values have plummeted often owe more to the bank than the home is worth — a status referred to as “underwater” or “upside down.” With unemployment still hovering near 10%, many of them are also jobless. “There [have] been times in my life I have been upside down on a mortgage,” CEO John Stumpf said Wednesday, “and if you give people a job, they want to stay in there, they pay.”

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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