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Bank of America sells Countrywide insurer

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Bank of America (BAC) sold the former Countrywide Financial Corp. property and casualty insurer Balboa Insurance Co. this week to QBE Insurance Group for $700 million. Countrywide acquired Balboa in 1999 and held it as a mortgage insurer until BofA bought Countrywide in June 2008. Now, more than two years later, BofA has decided to unload the insurance arm of that deal. Under the agreement, QBE will accept substantially all of the insurance liabilities of Balboa. According to a statement from BofA, all employees at Balboa will be retained. Both QBE and the bank entered into a distribution agreement of lender-placed insurance and REO programs. BofA said the transaction is still pending regulatory approval and is expected to close in the middle of 2011. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior

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