BofA: Settlement of $9.33 billion reached in FHFA lawsuit

BofA settlement: Bank of America will settle with the Federal Housing Finance Agency for $9.33 billion in a lawsuit over its sales of mortgage securities to Fannie and Freddie in 2011. 

By

  • close
    A Bank of America sign is pictured in Encinitas, California January 14.
    View Caption

Bank of America will spend $9.33 billion to resolve a dispute over mortgage securities with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The agency sued 18 financial institutions in 2011 over their sales of mortgage securities to Fannie and Freddie. It alleges many banks falsely represented the mortgage loans behind the securities. These soured after the housing bubble burst and lost billions in value.

Bank of America said that it will make cash payments of roughly $6.3 billion and also purchase securities from Fannie and Freddie worth more than $3 billion. It is one of several banks to settle with the FHFA, which announced the agreement Wednesday.

Recommended: Are the rich getting richer? Take our quiz on inequality and incomes.

Fannie and Freddie don't directly make loans to borrowers. They buy mortgages from lenders, package them as bonds, guarantee them against default and sell them to investors. That helps make loans available and gives Fannie and Freddie a huge role in the housing market. They own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages.

The two were rescued in a taxpayer bailout in 2008 as they sank under the weight of mortgage losses.

Separately, New York's attorney general announced that Bank of America and its former chief executive Kenneth Lewis reached a $25 million settlement to end an investigation into their actions in the 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co.

The civil fraud lawsuit accused them of failing to disclose Merrill losses and bonuses before the deal closed. The settlement requires the bank pay $15 million and continue certain corporate governance reforms. Lewis, now 67, is prohibited for three years from serving as an officer or director of a public company. He was ordered to pay $10 million.

The bank acknowledged the settlement in a statement Wednesday, noting the $15 million reflects the attorney general's cost of investigation and litigation. Last year, Bank of America settled a related class-action shareholder lawsuit for $2.43 billion.

Attorney Bruce Yannett, representing Lewis, said his client relied on experienced legal counsel about disclosures. Yannett said Lewis is proud of his role helping the banking system survive a challenging period and he's pleased to put the case behind him.

Shares of Bank of America Corp. fell 3 cents to close at $17.18 and rose 15 cents in after-hours trading to reach $17.33.

Share this story:
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...