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BofA Raises Estimate of Possible Legal, Regulatory Costs

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp., the lender facing lawsuits and probes by state attorneys general tied to its mortgage business, increased its estimate for costs that may result from legal complaints and regulatory matters.

Losses may range from $150 million to $1.6 billion in excess of accrued liability, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said today in a regulatory filing that covered the first quarter of this year. The range cited after the fourth quarter of 2010 was $145 million to $1.5 billion.

Bank of America is among five of the largest U.S. mortgage servicers being targeted by state attorneys general for faulty foreclosure practices. Last month, the lender signed a consent order with U.S. regulators that requires better customer service for overdue borrowers and a halt to foreclosure proceedings if a mortgage is being modified.

“Excluding fees paid to external legal service providers, litigation-related expense of $940 million was recognized in the three months ended March 31, 2011 compared to $588 million for the same period in 2010,” according to the filing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugh Son in New York at hson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Green at rgreen18@bloomberg.net

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