JPMorgan Agrees to $18.3 Million Mortgage Lawsuit Accord

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $18.3 million to settle claims that its Bear Stearns Cos. unit failed to disclose the actual interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgage documents.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles will consider whether to approve the agreement at a Oct. 7 hearing, according to a court filing.

The lawsuit was filed in 2007 by plaintiffs who refinanced their home loans with adjustable-rate mortgages. JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns in June 2008. The loans were acquired by a Bear Stearns unit, EMC Mortgage, based in Lewisville, Texas, that specialized in buying and servicing troubled mortgages.

JPMorgan, led by Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 57, is contending with criminal investigations of its energy-trading and mortgage-backed securities operations. The firm also faces U.S. probes of its anti-money-laundering safeguards, foreclosures, credit-card collections, and $6.2 billion in losses last year on botched derivatives bets by a U.K. trader known as the London Whale.

Brian Marchiony, a spokesman for New York-based JPMorgan, declined to comment on the ruling.

The case is Monaco v. The Bear Stearns Companies Inc., 09-cv-05438, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

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