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Bank of America Negotiating Record Mortgage Fraud Settlement

money.cnn.com | August 8, 2014

By Evan Perez


Bank of America has tentatively agreed to pay more than $16.5 billion in what would be the biggest mortgage securities fraud settlement to date.

The agreement, still in early stages, would settle a probe by the Justice Department and a group of states related to banking practices dating to the financial crisis, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The government accused the bank of misleading the buyers of mortgage-backed securities about the quality of the loans.

It includes $9 billion in penalties. The rest would go to pay for homeowner relief.

No final agreement is expected to be announced this week as the details continue to be negotiated.

Attorney General Eric Holder and Bank of America (BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan reached the main terms of the agreement in a telephone call last Wednesday night.

Associate Attorney General Tony West was meeting in Washington on Wednesday with the Bank of America general counsel to discuss the details of the agreement.

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To move along the negotiations, the Justice Department had threatened to file a lawsuit against the bank. Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, has led a civil probe of the mortgage business of Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America acquired in 2009. The bank assumed Merrill's obligations in the merger, but recently had argued it shouldn't have to pay for shoddy practices before it became a unit of Bank of America.

This settlement comes after the bank agreed to pay $6.3 billion to settle four lawsuits also relating to mortgage fraud filed by the Federal Housing Finance Authority. The FHFA has overseen Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC), the government-backed housing finance firms.

The deal would eclipse the $13 billion settlement in a similar probe by the Justice Department and states against JP Morgan (JPM) last year.


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CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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