Bank of America is said to be one of at least 14 banks negotiating a settlement with federal officials over foreclosure practices.

By E. Scott Reckard
January 6, 2013, 8:20 p.m.

Banks and regulators worked late Sunday to finalize a nearly $10-billion settlement that would halt a much-maligned program to review foreclosures from the height of the housing crisis, according to four people familiar with the talks.

At least 14 banks are involved. Since the reviews began in late 2011, the banks have paid $1.5 billion to consultants examining foreclosure records — but not a penny to aggrieved borrowers. Both bankers and regulators found that result untenable, officials have said.

The new agreement could be announced as early as Monday morning by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the arm of the Treasury Department that regulates banks with national charters, four people familiar with the negotiations said.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were sensitive and incomplete. The principal negotiators included six big banks that provide customer service on 90% of all U.S. home loans: Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., U.S. Bancorp and PNC Financial Services.

Regulators were presenting the deal late Sunday to eight smaller mortgage servicers that had agreed to the reviews in 2011 but were less involved in the settlement negotiations.

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