California Attorney General Kamala Harris remains open to a deal with large U.S. banks in multi-state mortgage negotiations provided it involves a stronger proposal from lenders, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Last week Harris pulled out of the negotiations with institutions that include Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Wells Fargo (WFC.N), and Citigroup (C.N), dealing a blow to efforts to secure a broad settlement over allegations of lending abuses.
New York had also left the talks in August over a disagreement about how much legal immunity the banks should receive in any settlement.
Citing a person familiar with Harris' thinking, the Journal said she is willing to consider a deal that is stronger than the one currently on the table.
A person familiar with the banks' thinking also told the Journal that Harris' move to walk away from the talks has contributed a sense of urgency to the negotiations.
Harris had told fellow government officials running the talks that the deal under discussion failed to provide enough relief for her state's homeowners and released the banks from too many claims.