MIAMI (CBSMiami/NSF) — A massive settlement announced Thursday between Bank of America and the U.S. Department of Justice will provide about $1 billion in assistance to thousands of Floridians, state Attorney General Pam Bondi said.

The settlement, which totals $16.65 billion, stems from claims about mortgage-related practices by Bank of America and current or former subsidiaries, such as Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch, that played a part in the country’s financial crisis.

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Of that overall total, about $7 billion will be used to provide assistance to consumers.

That assistance will include such things as principal reductions on loans and providing new loans to credit-worthy borrowers, according to the Department of Justice.

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Bondi’s office released a letter from Bank of America that said about $1 billion of the $7 billion would flow to Florida, which has grappled with large numbers of foreclosures and other problems in the housing market since the financial crisis.

Bondi said the package would help nearly 17,000 Floridians.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”

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