BankUnited Financial Corp. of Coral Gables, the largest Florida-based savings institution, was seized in May 2009 by regulators who said it had run out of capital. A specialist in loans to foreigners buying Sunshine State homes, BankUnited was a top originator of pay-option adjustable-rate mortgages, which permitted payments so low that loan balances rose instead of fell. Often made without documenting borrowers' incomes, pay-option ARMs played a role in the downfall of Washington Mutual Bank in Seattle along with Countrywide Financial Corp., IndyMac Bank and Downey Savings in California. Cost: $4.9 billion.
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