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Big Bank to be Penalized Big Dollars

The largest bank in the United States has tentatively agreed to pay $13 billion in fines, penalties and consumer relief to settle several investigations into bad mortgage loans it allegedly made.

JP Morgan Chase and the U.S. Justice Department still have to finalize the deal, which also requires the bank to cooperate with a continuing criminal probe into the bank's mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial meltdown.

The settlement would represent the largest penalty ever paid by a single company. The $13 billion total would include $4 billion in aid for struggling homeowners, such as loan modifications.

A number of federal and state regulators claim that JP Morgan Chase misled investors about the quality of the mortgages it was selling between 2005 and 2007 When the so-called housing bubble burst in 2007, investors in those mortgages lost heavily.

The bank has set aside at least $23 billion in reserves to cover settlements and legal expenses related to its actions before and after the financial crisis.

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