JPMorgan close to $13 billion mortgage settlement

JPMorgan Chase, eager to put a raft of mortgage-securities litigation behind it, is close to reaching a $13 billion settlement with the U.S. government, according to people familiar with the situation.

During a late Friday call between JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, Attorney General Eric Holder and lawyers for both sides, the bank agreed to pay about $13 billion to settle civil cases pending with the Justice Department, the New York Attorney General, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The probes are over its handling of mortgage-backed securities that plummeted in value during the housing crash of the late 2000s, according to one of these people.

Of that sum, about $4 billion resolves the outstanding FHFA issues and about $4 billion would be put into a consumer-relief fund, added that person. The balance would be put toward resolving the Justice and New York state matters.

A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. JPMorgan Chase & Co will pay $920 million in penalties in two...
A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, Sept. 19, 2013. MIKE SEGAR

(Read more: JPMorgan sees some ugly firsts with earnings)

Final details of the pact are still being worked out, however, said the people familiar with the situation, and the settlement could yet fall through.

A JPMorgan spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

During its protracted settlement negotiations with the government, which included a high-profile meeting in Washington last month between Dimon and Holder, the bank sought to insulate itself from criminal prosecution, said the people familiar with the matter.

But the government was unwilling to provide assurances to that effect, these people said, leaving JPMorgan with the possibility of additional criminal probes or lawsuits down the road.

—By CNBC's Kate Kelly and John Harwood