It's become a ritual of sorts. In advance of its next earnings report, Bank of America (BAC) settles a bundle of nagging legal claims, vowing that it's leaving its problems in the past.

In May 2012, it was $330 million in mortgage buybacks from Freddie Mac. Four months later, it was a $2.4 billion settlement with investors upset about B of A's acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

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