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10 banks agree to pay $8.5 billion for foreclosure abuse

  • In this Dec. 13, 2012 photo, a customer stops at a Bank of America ATM office in Boston. Bank of America Corp. says it will spend more than $10 billion to settle mortgage claims resulting from the housing meltdown. Under the deal announced Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, the bank will pay $3.6 billion to Fannie Mae and buy back $6.75 billion in loans that the North Carolina-based bank and its Countrywide banking unit sold to the government agency from Jan. 1, 2000 through Dec. 31, 2008. That includes about 30,000 loans. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

WASHINGTON — Ten major banks agreed Monday to pay $8.5 billion to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

The banks, which include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, will pay billions to homeowners to end a review process of foreclosure files that was required under a 2011 enforcement action. The review was ordered because banks mishandled people's paperwork and skipped required steps in the foreclosure process.

The settlement was announced jointly by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

Separately, Bank of America agreed Monday to pay $10.3 billion to government-backed mortgage financier Fannie Mae to settle claims related to mortgages that soured during the housing crash.

The agreements are the banks' latest step toward eliminating hundreds of billions of dollars in potential liabilities related to the housing crisis that crested in 2008. When they release fourth-quarter earnings later this month, the banks hope to reassure investors that they are making progress toward addressing those so-called legacy claims.


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