Wells Fargo fights new US suit, points to earlier pact

* Wells says suit conflicts with earlier mortgage settlement

* Asks judge to find DOJ violated previous deal

* Banks stepping up fight against financial crisis cases

By Aruna Viswanatha

WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Wells Fargo has gone to court to challenge a financial-crisis lawsuit recently brought against it by the Justice Department, saying a prior multi-bank $25 billion mortgage settlement already cleared it of some liability.

The fourth-largest U.S. bank asked a federal judge in Washington on Thursday to rule that the U.S. violated the terms of the earlier settlement by filing its recent case in New York.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan sued Wells Fargo on Oct. 9 seeking damages and penalties for more than 10 years of alleged misconduct related to government-insured Federal Housing Administration loans.

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