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A man walks next to a Bank of America branch in New York October 24, 2012. The United States filed a fraud lawsuit against Bank of America Corp, accusing it of causing taxpayers more than $1 billion of losses by selling thousands of toxic mortgage loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
A man walks next to a Bank of America branch in New York October 24, 2012. The United States filed a fraud lawsuit against Bank of America Corp, accusing it of causing taxpayers more than $1 billion of losses by selling thousands of toxic mortgage loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
(Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

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U.S. justice dept. knocks Bank of America’s hustle

The word “hustle” means to hurry something or someone along or to obtain in a nefarious way. Then, there is the dance popularised during the disco era of the 1970s. Now add to the list of definitions a process for reckless lending in the run-up to the financial crisis. In a lawsuit filed yesterday, the Department of Justice alleged that Countrywide and its parent Bank of America engaged in a programme, dubbed the “hustle,” that systemically eliminated traditional quality controls and concealed defects in home loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Damages for more than $1-billion (U.S.) in losses at the two groups, which are in government conservatorship and have received $183-billion in funding from the U.S. Treasury, are being sought.