“Major banks agreed to pay $20 billion to settle mortgage-related legal disputes, in Wall Street’s latest bid to put alleged abuses of the home-lending process in the rearview mirror.
The deals come as near-record low interest rates are feeding a new upturn in the U.S. housing market. That recovery, and expectations that banks finally will surmount the legal challenges that have dogged them since the financial crisis in 2008, have sent bank shares surging to recent highs.
Yet, mortgage credit remains scarce for all but the least-risky customers, leaving millions of borrowers unable to take advantage of Federal Reserve policies that have sharply reduced financing costs and hampering a sluggish economic recovery.”
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