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.
On January 7, 2013, Fannie Mae announced that it had reached a comprehensive resolution with Bank of America, including a $10.3 billion agreement on existing and prospective repurchase requests on a specified population of loans and an additional payment of $1.3 billion to address servicing issues.
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.
Justice Kapnick Keeps Bank of America Settlement As Article 77 Proceeding, Suggests Middle Road Regarding Discovery
At a hearing on April 24, 2012, New York state Supreme Court Justice Barbara R. Kapnick denied a motion to convert Bank of America’s proposed $8.5 billion mortgage-bond settlement from an Article 77 proceeding to a plenary hearing. Objectors to the proposed settlement, including AIG, moved to convert the case from an Article 77 proceeding – which is limited in scope and generally reserved for routine trust matters – into a plenary action for a full, adversarial hearing. Justice Kapnick denied the motion.
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.
New York AG Amends Pleading to Intervene in $8.5 Billion Bank of America Settlement, Drops Claims Against Trustee Bank of NY Mellon
On April 10, 2012, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed an amended pleading to intervene in Bank of America’s proposed 8.5 billion mortgage-bond settlement. In the amended pleading, Schneiderman’s office argues, as it did in its initial pleading, that the settlement is an unfair and inadequate resolution of investors’ claims against Bank of America.