Payback

The U.S. sues Deutsche Bank over mortgages

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Prosecutors have had a hard time nailing Wall Street for creating the financial crisis. That may be changing. In early May, the U.S. sued Deutsche Bank for allegedly tricking a government insurance program into backing lousy mortgage loans. Many defaulted, causing nearly $400 million in losses. In retribution, the government wants Deutsche to pay three times that in damages. Unlike earlier cases against Wall Street, the fraud Deutsche is alleged to have committed, in which it said it properly vetted loans when it didn't, was more widespread during the financial crisis. The Federal Housing Administration loan program, which, according to the suit, Deutsche duped, paid $14 billion in claims in fiscal year 2010. Not all of that was the result of fraud. But a recent review by HUD of nearly 300 FHA loans made by 15 lenders found that nearly half of those loans violated program guidelines.