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BofA Reaches $404 Million Mortgage Deal With Freddie Mac

Bank of America Corp. Bank Branch in New York
A sign that reads "Meet our on-site mortgage specialist" is displayed in a window as a customer walks into a Bank of America Corp. bank branch in New York. Photographer Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp. agreed to pay $404 million to Freddie Mac in a deal that caps the lender’s efforts to resolve repurchase claims from government-sponsored enterprises on mortgages sold before the financial crisis.

The accord covers about 716,000 loans created by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America from Jan. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2009, and sold to Freddie Mac, the firms said today in separate statements. The payment, minus credits of $13 million that the bank already paid Freddie Mac, is covered by current reserves, the lender said.

Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, 54, has spent more than $50 billion settling claims tied to shoddy mortgages sold before he took over in 2010. Previous settlements, including one with Freddie Mac in January 2011, focused on loans sold by Countrywide Financial Corp., which the bank acquired in 2008. Today’s deal resolved disputes over mortgages sold by Bank of America, the second-biggest U.S. bank.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Bank of America, which now allows both companies to move forward,” Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton said in one of the statements. “We continue to make very good progress in recovering funds that are due to the American taxpayer.”

The settlement with McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac completes Moynihan’s efforts to resolve representation-and-warranty claims for loans sold to government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the financial crisis. The lender announced a pair of deals with Fannie Mae, including an $11.7 billion accord in January.

Company’s Guarantee

When banks sell mortgages to investors or bundle them into securities, they typically offer representations and warranties, in which they guarantee that information backing the loans such as borrowers’ income is accurate. If the data are wrong, the bank can be forced to repurchase the loan or reimburse investors for the lost value.

Today’s deal doesn’t cover mortgage-servicing obligations, securities and disclosure claims or private-label securitizations, Bank of America said. Private investors make up most of the remaining repurchase demands. The firm cited $14.7 billion in outstanding claims from private investors as of the third quarter.

Bank of America is also being sued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency over $57 billion of mortgage-backed securities and faces a Department of Justice civil suit over disclosures in an $850 million mortgage bond. The lender may have to pay $5 billion to $8 billion to settle the FHFA’s suit, Fitch Ratings said in October.

Shares of the bank, which have advanced 37 percent this year, rose 0.8 percent to $15.94 in New York at 10:12 a.m.

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