Additional legal tab for banks could exceed $100B

|By:, SA News Editor

"Mortgage-related litigation has recently gotten a second wind and has expanded beyond investor claims,” says S&P, now estimating legal tab for U.S. banks could be another $56.5B-$104B. The good news is banks have gotten ahead of even these crazy numbers by boosting litigation reserves to nearly $155B.

The bad news would be if Bank of America's (BAC) $8.5B mortgage settlement with private parties gets tossed out by a federal judge (see Article 77 hearing coverage), the litigation losses could "escalate significantly ...  the ability of US banks with the largest exposures to withstand additional expenses is not unlimited.”

C, WFC, MS, JPM, and GS declined to comment for the story.

From the Department of Legal Issues Are Going Nowhere: The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh - claiming its losses of more than $1B are not covered by the JPMorgan global settlement - asks a judge to force JPM to turn over the draft complain from the DOJ which includes the name of a bank employee described as a cooperating witness for the government.

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