For the second time in less than a week, bank investors got a reminder the companies can't escape from bad mortgages sold during the U.S. housing boom.

A bondholder group that last year won a preliminary $8.5 billion settlement from Bank of America Corp. said yesterday it was escalating its fights with Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) That followed a Sept. 14 lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) by bond insurer MBIA Inc. (MBI) that underscored how existing cases are strengthening the hands of those seeking compensation.

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