Bank of America to pay $16.65 billion mortgage settlement

Following an extensive in-depth investigation, Bank of America (BoA) and the federal government reached an agreement by which BoA will pay a record settlement of $16.65 billion as a penalty for the sale of subprime mortgages, many of them originating from Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch, which the bank purchased in 2008, at the beginning of the housing crisis. The resolution to what had been a long drawn-out inquiry was met positively by shareholders, as BoA's stock rose more than 4 percent on the day it was announced.

Bank of America has paid nearly $75 billion in payouts deriving from its role in the credit crisis, with the total penalties handed out to large banks coming to almost $127 billion. The previous high-water mark for a single settlement was the $13 billion paid out by JPMorgan Chase last year.

While those numbers are staggering, the overwhelmingly positive reaction on the part of stockholders may be a further sign that, with the worst of the financial crisis over, the outlook for the mortgage and loan market is encouraging. Nevertheless, other similar investigations are still ongoing, and it is always wise to exercise caution before entering into a mortgage agreement, especially given the financial sector's recent history.

Among the options that potential homeowners have to help them manage their investments is loan management software, which can be used to create a real estate amortization schedule to organize payments. Loan calculator software can also be a vital resource, as it gives both borrowers and lenders an accurate rundown of all the terms and necessary information regarding a loan, greatly simplifying what can often be a complex process.