WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bank of America has reached a record $17 billion settlement to resolve an investigation into its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis, officials directly familiar with the matter said Wednesday.<br />
One of the officials, who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the announcement isn't scheduled until Thursday at the earliest, said the bank will pay $10 billion in cash and provide consumer relief valued at $7 billion.<br />
The deal is the largest settlement arising from the economic meltdown in which millions of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. It follows agreements in the last year with Citigroup for $7 billion and with JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $13 billion.<br />
Like the Bank of America deal, those settlements were a mixture of hard cash and "credits" for various forms of consumer aid that the banks promised to provide in coming years.<br />
The Bank of America settlement was negotiated through a joint federal and state working group established by President Barack Obama two years ago with the Justice Department and other federal and state authorities. Individual states are expected to share in the settlement.<br />
Justice Department spokeswoman Ellen Canale declined to comment, as did New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a co-chairman of the group. The bank also declined comment.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
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