JPMorgan Chase, Justice Dept. approach $13 billion deal

by Hailey Colwell

Banking giant JPMorgan Chase is moving closer to a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department over its mortgage practices, news sources reported. 

The tentative agreement comes after weeks of negotiations and would address the bulk of the bank's financial problems, people involved in the talks said, the New York Times reported. 

The deal was reached Friday in a call that included bank CEO Jamie Dimon and Attorney General Eric Holder, Politico reported.

The plan would settle civil investigations of the bank's sale of mortgage-backed securities that experienced a sharp decrease during the housing crash of the late 2000s, according to one of the people briefed on the talks, NBC News reported.

Several media reports stated the deal would not release JPMorgan Chase from potential criminal liability, USA Today reported.

Under the deal, the bank would be expected to pay about $9 billion in fines and would likely spend about $4 billion in relief for homeowners, according to people involved in negotiations, the New York Times reported. 

Previously, JPMorgan was offering to pay about $11 billion in total penalties and refusing to pay more unless the Justice Department stopped an ongoing criminal investigation into the company's sale of bad mortgage securities to investors, the New York Times reported.

But the bank has tentatively dropped that demand, a person involved in the talks said, and the Justice Department is free to continue its investigation, the New York Times reported.