Everybody knows Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is swimming upstream in terms of profitability. Last year, the nation's second largest lender by assets earned $4.2 billion. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) reported net incomes of $21.3 billion and $18.9 billion, both of which were records for the respective companies. In the video below, Motley Fool contributor John Maxfield identifies one of the primary explanations for this disparity: mortgage-servicing rights related to toxic mortgages.

John Maxfield owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool recommends Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.