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JPMorgan Urged to Pay More in Mortgage Deal

"The Justice Department is moving closer to striking a multibillion-dollar settlement with JPMorgan Chase over questionable mortgage practices, after authorities urged the bank to raise its offer and the bank’s chief executive took the rare step of meeting with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in Washington to discuss the deal.

"Mr. Holder’s nearly hourlong meeting on Thursday with the chief executive,Jamie Dimon, followed days of intense negotiations during which JPMorgan ultimately offered to pay a roughly $7 billion fine and provide $4 billion in relief for struggling homeowners, according to people briefed on the talks. While the Justice Department has largely agreed to the $4 billion in relief, which requires the bank to reduce the size of certain mortgages and refinance others, it seeks more than the proposed $7 billion in penalties and is now waiting for JPMorgan to prepare a new, larger settlement offer, the people said.

"The latest push on the size of the penalties indicates that the talks are entering their final stages. After JPMorgan raised its total offer to $11 billion earlier in the week, the disparity in negotiating positions narrowed significantly."

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