It may be too early to declare who the winner is, but Bank of America's willingness to settle the $8.5 billion Countrywide suit hints at how big the litigation problem might be for mortgage originators in the courts today.

The bank has yet to pay out on the claim because the settlement amount has been disputed by several investors. The lawsuit, brought by Walnut Place in February 2011, alleged that subsidiaries of Countrywide, which BofA subsequently acquired, misrepresented the quality of the loans underlying more than $1 billion in MBS. According to Walnut Place's allegations, BNY Mellon (BNYM), the trustee holding the securities, failed to sue BofA and therefore did not satisfy its trustee obligations.

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