After receiving court approval two weeks ago, Ambac Assurance Corp. on Monday proceeded with its plan to pay billions of dollars to major financial institutions in exchange for terminating volatile structured-finance products.

The junk-rated insurer has not written new policies since June 2008. Before the credit crisis, it was triple-A rated and held the market’s second-largest insured municipal bond portfolio. But its financial position began deteriorating in late 2007 after it suffered near-fatal losses from guaranteeing assets later dubbed “toxic.”

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