Bank of America Close to Cleaning Up Countrywide’s Mess

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is reportedly near a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department regarding violation of fair lending practices by Countrywide Financial Corp., a lender acquired by the bank in 2008.

The settlement may be made public next week, and could involve compensations to Countrywide customers. The Countrywide probe was one of seven suits and among about 20 investigations initiated by the Justice Department.

Bank of America would be the largest financial firm to settle with the Department, under CEO Brian Moynihan who is cleaning up the Countrywide liabilities that the Bank incurred due to its purchase of the sub-prime lender. About $40 billion has already been spent on refunds on mortgages, litigation and foreclosures since 2007.

Shares of BAC have plunged more than 60% this year due to such costs, and also the overhang of the European debt crisis.

Here’s how Bank of America shares are trading on the news:

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): BAC shares recently traded at $5.13, down $0.04, or 0.77%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $4.92 to $15.31. Volume today was 52,325,438 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 274,750,000 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-0.31 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>