Bank of America (BAC) could be one more big legal charge away from putting its mortgage woes with Uncle Sam behind it, and that charge could come as early as this quarter.

Granted, there are a number of "ifs" behind that prediction, but it's very plausible, according to conversations with analysts on Friday after several news organizations reported that B of A could be edging toward a $12 billion settlement with the Justice Department and state regulators regarding shoddy mortgages sold in the run-up to the financial crisis.

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