Bank of America is in talks to settle an investigation into its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis and could pay between $16 and $17 billion, making it the biggest Justice Department settlement by a long shot arising from the economic collapse. However, the deal has not been finalized, and although the two sides have reach an agreement in principle sources say talks could still break down. Under the tentative deal, the bank would pay about $9 billion in cash. The remainder would go toward consumer relief.
The deal would be the most recent stemming from the sale of toxic mortgage securities leading up to the recession. The Justice Department last year reached a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan and in July announced a $7 billion settlement with Citigroup.
Leading up to the financial crisis, banks downplayed the risks of subprime mortgages when packaging and selling the securities to mutual funds, investment trusts and pensions, as well as other banks and investors. The securities contained residential mortgages from borrowers who were unlikely to be able to repay their loans, yet were publicly promoted as relatively safe investments until the housing market collapsed and investors suffered billions of dollars in losses. Those losses triggered a financial crisis that pushed the economy into the worst recession since the 1930s.
Bank of America had previously argued that it should not be held liable for the subprime mortgages issued by Countrywide and Merrill Lynch, two troubled firms the bank acquired in 2008 as the meltdown took hold. Combined, those three firms issued $965 billion in mortgage-backed securities from 2004 to 2008. Almost 75 percent of that total came from Countrywide.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies.