Bank of America recently moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Ambac Assurance Corp. in New York state court, alleging $600 million in damages for fraudulent inducement in connection with payments it made under policies insuring faulty residential mortgage-backed securities issued by Countrywide.
In Fraud Suits Filed by DOJ and SEC, Bank of America Tries a Defense They Themselves Often Dismiss – Phil Stein
The Department of Jusitce and the SEC have recently filed suits against Bank of America for allegedly defrauding buyers of its mortgaged-backed securities back in 2008. A Bank of America spokesman has responded by saying, essentially, the buyers were sophisticated enough to know better and had access to plenty of data on them. Coincidentally, this is a argument Bank of America routinely dismisses in suits filed by them against mortgage lenders.
In what is by far the largest settlement of a credit crisis-related securities class action lawsuit, Bank of America has agreed to pay $2.43 billion to settle the suit filed against the company and certain of its directors and officers in connection with the bank’s financial crisis-driven acquisition of Merrill Lynch.
Bank of America has lowered its reserves established for payments in response to mortgage buy-back demands. The announcement, coming in the banking giant’s quarterly earnings report, indicates BofA set aside less money in the first quarter of 2012 to cover the cost of “repurchase” demands than it had at any time since the housing bust.
As most correspondents/originators are now painfully aware, aggregator banks are unleashing a barrage of “repurchase” or “make whole” claims related to loans sold by the correspondent years ago. The aggregators cite supposed loan level breaches of representations and warranties in the applicable mortgage purchase and sale agreement or in the correspondent/originator guidelines.
As described on TheNicheReport.com last week, the rising number of allegedly flawed mortgage loans sold to Fannie Mae by Bank of America has created a rift between these two behemoths, each of which was bailed out by the U.S. government when the American real estate bubble burst. Now, Fannie Mae is pressuring lender Bank of America to cover losses incurred by insured home loans that have defaulted, but on which the PMI company is refusing to pay.
On Wednesday, March 7, 2012, the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance responded to a series of No-Action Requests regarding issues under Exchange Act Rule 14a-8 (under which eligible shareholders are permitted to require companies to include shareholder proposals regarding proxy access procedures in company proxy materials).
I am very pleased to announce that Stan Mabbitt, a nationally recognized consumer financial services lawyer, has joined Ballard Spahr as of counsel in our Phoenix and Washington, D.C., offices. I also welcome Stan as a regular contributor to our blog. We hit the trifecta when Stan agreed to join us. He has a rare combination of extensive experience working in this industry from all three vantage points—first as a regulator, then as a law firm partner, and most recently as a high-ranking in-house lawyer at Bank of America.