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FHFA seeking $6 billion from Bank of America in mortgage crisis settlement

BofA has faced a litany of litigation related to 2008’s failed mortgage-backed securities

J.P. Morgan and Chase Co. is set to pay a substantial sum to end probes into mortgage-backed securities. That price tag would be $13 billion in total, with $4 billion earmarked to settle claims from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

However, J.P. Morgan was not the only bank who got into lending trouble, and for Bank of America (BofA), the FHFA price tag could be even higher.

According to The Financial Times, the U.S. housing regulator is seeking $6 billion from BofA to settle civil claims that the bank sold faulty mortgage bonds to finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Negotiations are ongoing, and the two sides may not be able to come to a deal.

The FHFA sued 18 different firms, including BofA, two years ago for their roles in the mortgage crisis of 2008. After Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s failures as a result of faulty bonds and loans, Bloomberg says the two companies have received $187.5 billion in federal aid.

Bank of America has faced a litany of litigation as a result of its role in the financial crisis this year. The bank settled directly with Fannie Mae in early 2013 for nearly $12 billion, and BofA settled with financial services company MBIA in May 2013. The company also attempted to settle with investors concerning losses from the crisis, but the FDIC challenged the agreement, saying the BofA’s $500 million price tage was too low.

Many of BofA’s problems stem from the 2008 purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp. In ongoing litigation, government alleges that Countrywide and BofA defrauded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through a program called the High Speed Swim Lane, also known as Hustle. In Hustle, the government says, Countrywide systematically removed quality controls and relied more heavily on automated loans, resulting in a higher loan default rate. Former Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone first appeared in court on Oct. 15 to dispute these claims.

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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