Ally Financial  just can't escape its troubled mortgage unit, which dragged the company's fourth-quarter results into the red on Thursday.

The lender's leaders have become increasingly resentful of their mortgage albatross. Chief executive Michael Carpenter told analysts Thursday that he would have "rather not" have paid $270 million in the fourth quarter to settle foreclosure problems with regulators, ahead of an anticipated industry settlement. He added that he is not committed to continuing to support the company's Residential Capital mortgage unit, or ResCap.

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