This month, Bank of America announced an $11.6 billion settlement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The settlement is in connection with its 2008 acquisition of mega mortgage lender Countrywide and the bad mortgages it issued. In order to lessen the blow to its bottom line, Countrywide will sell more than $800 million in mortgage servicing rights. This settlement will reduce its outstanding mortgage repurchase demands by more than 40%. The settlement includes $3.6 billion for claims and $1.3 billion specifically for fees related to foreclosure delays. The plan also includes $6.7 billion for repurchasing loans. Of those loans, only $16 million were performing and $2.7 billion were modified and performing.
This settlement follows what has become commonly known as the “big bank settlement,” in which a group of megabanks agreed to pay more than $8 billion in restitution to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That settlement involved allegations of many of the same type of financial chicanery in Bank of America’s most recent agreement.
These two settlements are just the beginning of the fights that Bank of America will be having with regulators for years to come. Next on the agenda, a showdown at the MBIA. As further evidence is brought to light regarding unsavory loan practices, private entities, like banks, and public funds, like municipalities and pensions, continue to file individual suits attempting to recover losses from mortgage related investments, according to Erica Reed, a securities attorney with Levin, Papantonio.
James L. Kauffman is an associate attorney with the Pensacola, Florida, law firm of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty, & Proctor. He is a member of the Business Torts Department and his practice focuses primarily upon representing individuals and entities seeking financial recovery for losses suffered from securities fraud.