Thursday, June 12, 2014
Bank of America In Talks To Pay $12B Fine
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Bank of America Corp. is in talks to pay at least $12 billion to settle civil probes by the Justice Department and a number of states into the bank's alleged handling of shoddy mortgages, an amount that could raise the government tab for the bank's pre-crisis conduct to more than $18 billion. At least $5 billion of that amount is expected to go toward consumer relief — consisting of help for homeowners in reducing principal amounts, reducing monthly payments and paying for blight removal in struggling neighborhoods. As the negotiations with the government heat up, the bank is being pressed to pay billions more than the $12 billion it is offering. The North Carolina bank's total tab to end government probes and lawsuits related to its conduct in the runup to the financial crisis is increasingly likely to surpass the record $13 billion that JPMorgan Chase & Co. paid last year to settle similar allegations. Bank of America has already struck a $6 billion settlement, by the Justice Department's measure, with the Federal Housing Finance Agency.