``The settlement announced today, which is subject to final court approval, calls for the lawsuits to be dismissed in their entirety and defendants to receive a global release in exchange for a settlement payment of $500 million. The settlement is distinct from another pending $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America Corp. and 22 institutional investors in Countrywide mortgage-backed securities. Investors' rights under that suit will not be affected by the $500 million settlement. ''

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