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    Inside Story Americas - Are US banks getting off too lightly?

    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

    US banks have agreed to pay $18.5bn in two settlements relating to the 2008 mortgage crisis which helped drag the world into recession.

    This comes five years after the US housing bubble collapsed, leaving millions of Americans with homes that were worthless, while some of the country's largest banks had to be bailed out by the government.

    In the deal, Bank of America agreed to pay $10bn to Fannie Mae, to settle claims that the bank sold bad loans to the national mortgage guarantor for 10 years, ending in 2008.

    In another settlement, 10 banks and financial institutions – including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo – agreed to settle claims of foreclosure abuses for $8.5bn.

    But many analysts believe the banks have got off lightly.

    And critics point out that these settlements are not enough to adequately compensate many who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars when their homes were foreclosed.