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FDIC objects to Bank of America mortgage settlement

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The FDIC and more than three dozen other investors on Monday lodged objections to Bank of America Corp.'s $8.5-billion US settlement of claims over losses on mortgage-backed securities, joining a growing list of investors and regulators that are challenging the accord.

In its filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the FDIC said it is "the receiver of numerous banks and owner of many certificates" issued by many of the 530 mortgage pools of the former Countrywide Financial Corp that the settlement covers.

The FDIC, whose full name is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said it is intervening because it does not have enough information to evaluate the settlement.

Other investors that objected on Monday included a variety of banks, insurers and investment funds. Among them are Jeffrey Gundlach's money management firm Doubleline Capital LP, and the banking unit of Wayne, New Jersey's Valley National Bancorp.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the trustee handling the 530 trusts with $174 billion of unpaid principal balances, had negotiated the settlement with 22 institutional investors including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, BlackRock Inc. and Allianz SE's Pimco.

The June 29 accord was intended to resolve much of Bank of America's remaining legal liability tied to its 2008 purchase of Countrywide, once the nation's largest mortgage lender.

But dozens of investors who did not negotiate but would be bound by the accord have said the payout is too low, or that they lack enough information to know whether it is fair. Two state attorneys general, New York's Eric Schneiderman and Delaware's Beau Biden, also have expressed objections.

A New York state judge is scheduled to consider whether to approve the settlement on November 17, but some investors want the case handled in federal court.

Bank of America spokesman Lawrence Grayson said that bank believes the trustee acted reasonably, and that there are "compelling reasons" for the settlement to be approved.

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