Justice Department sues Bank of America over mortgage fraud

A woman walks past an office of Countrywide banking and home loans in Sun City, Ariz.

This final note today. Some news, first, and then a question. The Justice Department sued Bank of America today. It wants a billion dollars in damages for what prosecutors call "brazen mortgage fraud." This case stems from Bank of America's purchase of Countrywide Financial back in 2008. Now prosecutors allege that the mortgage lender was cranking out bad home loans without proper checks to make sure they were legit, and then sold those mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Plus, the Justice Department says Bank of America kept on doing it after it bought Countrywide. Which gets us to this question: Which was worse in the long history of mergers and acquisitions in this country -- Bank of America Countrywide or AOL Time Warner?

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Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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