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October 23, 2013

Bank of America 'Hustle' Trial Nears Close

Lawyers made closing arguments in the U.S. government’s civil lawsuit against Bank of America Corp. for a loan-production program called the “hustle,” with both sides painting drastically different portraits of what went on inside a company commonly associated with the U.S. housing bust.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaimie Nawaday said the case was about “greed and lies” at Countrywide Financial Corp., which ran the program from August 2007 until April 2008. Brendan Sullivan, a partner at the law firm Williams & Connolly LLP representing Bank of America, which bought Countrywide in 2008, insisted there was ‘no fraud.’

The civil case in federal court in Manhattan is dragging Bank of America back into the spotlight for Countrywide’s alleged misdeeds during the housing boom. Experts said it marks the first time a bank has been brought to trial for its crisis-era behavior.

The stakes are especially high for the second largest U.S. bank by assets, which is trying to convince investors the bulk of its legal troubles are behind it. Analysts estimate the bank has paid some $49 billion in legal expenses tied to its acquisition of Countrywide.”


Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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