Mortgage

Reuters: DOJ collects $24.7 billion in settlements in 2014

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, BofA among biggest settlements

Earlier today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s eighth seminannual report stated that $353 million in criminal fines and restitution orders have been collected due to the OIG’s investigative efforts.

Simultaneously, Reuters reported an accumulated $24.7 billion in penalties from fraud and other cases collected by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Here's what Reuters said contributed most to this collection:

Collections in 2014 were boosted by multi-billion dollar payouts from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (C) to resolve claims they misled investors about the quality of mortgage bonds in the run up to the financial crisis, and include $11 billion in payments made to federal agencies or states.

HousingWire has kept a close eye on the legal issues of banks, most recently reporting that Bank of America (BAC) took two cases to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court will examine whether a second mortgage on an underwater property can be voided during Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In November of 2013, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reached a settlement of $13 billion to end all existing legacy mortgage-backed securitites issues. The settlement was proclaimed as the largest legal settlement in American history.

When that case ended, the DOJ used that money to speed up cases against other banks such as Bank of America and Citigroup.

In July of this year, Citigroup announced its $7 billion settlement to settle residential mortgage-backed securities and collaterlized debt obligations.

Bank of America then agreed to a $16.65 billion settlement in August in response to claims over the toxic residential mortgage-backed securities issued before the financial crisis, trumping the unfortunate milestone of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s historic settlement.

Now, Bank of America is seeking relief from the Securities and Exchange Commission, claiming that the company is being treated unfairly.

Bloomberg reported recently that BofA CEO Brian Moynihan does not plan on easing mortgage standards anytime soon.

According to Reuters, Attorney General Eric Holder had this to say about the DOJ's collection:

“It shows the fruits of the Justice Department’s tireless work in enforcing federal laws…and in holding financial institutions accountable for their roles in causing the 2008 financial crisis.”

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