By Chris Bruce
Bank of America has reached a $5 million settlement with the U.S. government on claims that its foreclosure practices violated the False Claims Act.
The accord, set out in a joint dismissal filed Jan. 5 before Judge Ursula Ungaro of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, resolves U.S. claims and those of Bruce Jacobs, the plaintiff in the original 2015 lawsuit. Jacobs, a realtor, said Bank of America and various affiliates violated the FCA by making wrongful claims for Federal Housing Administration insurance after submitting misleading statements about mortgage notes and assignments.
The parties filed the joint dismissal two days after the Justice Department moved to join the case. It calls for Bank of America to pay $3.4 million to the government, after which the U.S. will pay $891,000 to Jacobs. The bank also will pay $1.5 million in legal fees incurred by Jacobs. Ungaro entered an order dismissing the case late Jan. 5.
Case: United States v. Bank of Am. Corp., S.D. Fla., 15-cv-24585, joint dismissal filed 1/5/18.