Bank of America to pay $17 BILLION to settle mortgage investigation

Bank of America Corp will pay more than $16.5 BILLION to settle a Department of Justice investigation into mortgage securities involving inappropriate marketing of mortgages to those who could not pay.

This fine is the largest of its kind and some of the moneys will be used to assist struggling homeowners.

The negotiations have been driven by an investigation into securities sold by Merrill Lynch, which the bank agreed to acquire in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis, people familiar with the matter have said.

The agreement requires the bank to acknowledge making misrepresentations about the quality of its residential mortgage-backed securities itself and in those by Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch. Those institutions were acquired by the bank in 2008 and were responsible for the bulk of the questionable loans.

Jeff Newman represents whistleblowers.