The civil servants over at the Justice Department has figured out how to spend their time once they finish extracting another big fat check from Brian Moynihan & co.

The Justice Department and Citigroup Inc. plan to meet next month in the opening salvo of multibillion-dollar settlement talks aimed at ending probes into how the bank handled shoddy mortgage-backed securities, according to people familiar with the matter….

The Justice Department hasn’t yet floated a number with the bank—which has already settled several other mortgage-related lawsuits—but an agreement could tally in the billions of dollars….

Citigroup is a smaller player in mortgages than J.P. Morgan or Bank of America, and its mortgage-related settlements have also tended to be smaller, sometimes significantly. The bank’s litigation costs from 2011 through 2013 were more than $7 billion, according to Barclays analysts, far less than J.P. Morgan or Bank of America. But the amount it could still pay above existing reserves is $5 billion, which is tied for second largest behind Bank of America.

Citigroup, Justice Department Plan Settlement Talks Over Mortgage Securities [WSJ]

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