Bank of America (BAC) Stock Up 48% in 2012 as Banks Boost Markets

Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) stock has been turning to the upside with positive momentum in the new year. Shares are trading above $8 per share today as investors become more comfortable with the banking sector, which has been out of favor for quite some time. Bank of America is currently an $86 billion market cap company. Here’s the latest news on Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) today:

A mortgage servicing subsidiary of Bank of America agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it illegally assessed more than $36M worth of fees against homeowners, in violation of an earlier settlement with the FTC. Bank of America subsidiary BAC Home Loans Servicing has already reversed or refunded $28M worth of improper fees for title and other default-related services charged to homeowners behind on their mortgages. The new settlement requires Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Home Loans to reverse or refund the remaining $8M in improper fees, the FTC said.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced a commitment to California of up to $18B as part of a national multistate settlement to penalize robo-signing and other bank servicing and foreclosure misconduct. Attorney General Harris also obtained separate, enforceable guarantees to ensure that banks will be accountable for their commitments, meaning banks must enact a minimum of $12B in principal reductions for California homeowners. Failure to achieve this minimum level of reductions will result in substantial cash payments of up to $800M that the banks will have to pay to the state. Unlike the larger multistate agreement, which is enforceable in a federal court in Washington, D.C., this payment provision empowers the Attorney General to summon the banks to California state court, Harris said.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers announced that the federal government and 49 state attorneys general have reached a landmark $25B agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. The joint federal-state group entered into the agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers: Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Ally Financial, formerly GMAC. The joint federal-state agreement requires servicers to implement comprehensive new mortgage loan servicing standards and to commit $25 billion to resolve violations of state and federal law. Under the terms of the agreement, the servicers are required to collectively dedicate $20B toward various forms of financial relief to borrowers. Mortgage servicers are required to fulfill these obligations within three years. In addition to the $20 billion in financial relief for borrowers, the agreement requires the servicers to pay $5B in cash to the federal and state governments.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com