Key dates in the foreclosure mess
June 2010: Ally Financial employee Jeffrey Stephan says in a deposition that he signed hundreds of foreclosure documents daily without reviewing them as required.
September: Ally Financial suspends some foreclosure sales and evictions to review practices. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. suspends foreclosures in 23 states.
October: Bank of America suspends foreclosures and foreclosure sales nationally. Bank regulators and attorneys general begin inquiries into alleged abuses.
January 2011: Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says the investigation will probably end in separate settlements with individual banks, not a "one size fits all" agreement.
February: A review by U.S. regulators finds "critical deficiencies and shortcomings" in document-handling procedures and a "small number" of wrongful sales that shouldn't have occurred. The Obama administration prepares a proposal for a $20 billion settlement, payable in civil fines or by funding a comparable amount of loan modifications for distressed borrowers.
April: Federal regulators send orders to 14 financial institutions requiring improvements in foreclosure practices.
May: Banks offer to pay $5 billion as compensation for any borrowers wronged in the foreclosure process, angering state officials who want more than $20 billion. Attorneys general respond with a warning that banks face a potential liability of at least $17 billion in civil lawsuits if a settlement isn't reached.
July: U.S. banks squabble over how to split the settlement and push for broad protections from further legal claims.
January 2012: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Justice Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli brief Democratic attorneys general at a Chicago hotel on details of a tentative agreement.
February: Negotiators set a deadline of Feb. 3 for state attorneys general to decide whether they are in or out of the final settlement. The deadline is pushed back to Feb. 6.
Wednesday: An agreement is reached. An announcement is expected today.
Wall Street Journal