``An $8.5 billion settlement with investors over Countrywide mortgage bonds is tied up in court. In October, the U.S. sued Bank of America over loans sold by Countrywide to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that the government estimates led to more than $1 billion in losses for the companies.

In the MBIA case, Bank of America's strategy is to delay the litigation and push the insurer "to the brink of insolvency," said Isaac Gradman, an attorney at Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz LLP in Santa Rosa, California, who isn't involved in the case. ''

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