Real Estate

Obama Lauds Mortgage Settlement As 'Landmark Event'

President Barack Obama called the $26 billion settlement between government authorities and five of the nation’s biggest banks a "landmark event" in a press conference on Thursday.

President Barack Obama

Indeed it is the largest federal and state settlement in U.S. history.

Federal officials said Thursday that the nation's five largest mortgage lenders reached the settlement with 49 states over foreclosure abuses that took place after the housing bubble burst.

The deal also ends a separate investigation into Bank of Americaand Countrywide for inflating appraisals of loans from 2003 through most of 2009. Bank of America will pay $1 billion to settle that investigation.  

The President expressed lofty goals for the settlement's impact, meant to hold banks accused of reckless foreclosure practices accountable to the more than 4 million Americans affected.

The banks involved in the deal are Bank of America , Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase , Citigroup and Ally Financial .

"It will beging to turn the page on an era of recklessness that left so much damage in its wake," he told the roomful of reporters. 

The President concluded by pressing Congress to take the final step and send the bill to him for signing.

"There is no excuse for inaction. The bipartisan nature of this settlement is a testament to what happens when eveybody's pulling in the same direction," he concluded.

Reuters contributed to this report.