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Mortgage Crisis Watch Business and legal issues affecting: loan repurchases | mortgage-backed securities | mortgage insurance

Category Archives: Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS)

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CFPB, DOJ Show Renewed Interest in Pursuing “Redlining” Cases

Evidence is mounting that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are taking a renewed interest in investigating possible redlining—the practice of lenders charging certain groups more for products, or altogether excluding minorities within certain geographic areas. There has been a substantial increase in recent months of warnings by government… Continue Reading

Quicken Loans Takes on the DOJ & HUD

Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed mortgage lender, filed suit on Friday, April 17 in the United States District Court in Detroit against the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In the suit, Quicken alleged that it is a target of a probe in… Continue Reading

BofA’s Inconsistent Positions

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 its complaint filed at the end of 2014, Ambac claims that… Continue Reading

A Digital Encyclopedia: Bilzin Sumberg’s Blogosphere

Bilzin Sumberg prides itself as being the go-to firm for domestic and international investors and corporations doing business in Florida and beyond. We aim to provide our clients with legal and business insight into the industries and areas they work in through our various blogs, which hone in on key issues or areas of interest… Continue Reading

Former Analyst Claims Moody’s Falsely Inflated Ratings

Former Moody’s analyst, Ilya Kolchinsky, has accused the credit rating powerhouse of overstating its ratings for countless toxic mortgage-backed securities that caused the financial meltdown in 2008, misleading investors and costing the U.S. billions in funds spent bailing out Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks. Kolchinsky’s 107-page False Claims Act complaint, filed in 2012, was recently unsealed… Continue Reading

Citigroup Settles with DOJ for $7 Billion

Citigroup announced last week that it will pay $7 billion to end an investigation by the U.S Department of Justice into misconduct related to its mortgage securitization practices. The blockbuster settlement came days before DOJ lawyers were expected to file a lawsuit. $4.5 billion will go towards settling civil claims related to the DOJ probe,… Continue Reading

Buyback and Indemnifications: The New Dangers

On Thursday, July 31, I will be speaking as part of a panel of business professionals during a live webinar about the continuing repurchase and indemnification risk surrounding mortgage buybacks. This panel will assist mortgage professionals in determining where the greatest exposure of risk lies, and will offer some insightful tips on how best to… Continue Reading

Big Banks Argue that Shorter Limitations Period Should Apply to MBS Claims

Recently, the defendants in FDIC as Receiver for Colonial Bank v. Chase Mortgage Finance Group, et al (Civ No. 1:12-cv-06166) filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, asking the court to dismiss as time-barred the securities violations alleged against them by the FDIC.  In light of the Supreme Court’s holding in CTS Corp. v…. Continue Reading

Judge Denied Bank of America’s Motion to Dismiss $850M Mortgage Fraud Case

Last week, Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina denied Bank of America’s motion to dismiss the Security and Exchange Commission’s claims against it in SEC v. Bank of America Corporation, et al. The SEC’s complaint is founded upon allegations that “[t]he Bank of America … Continue Reading

Recently Unveiled “HOME Forward” Housing Act May Signal the End of Fannie and Freddie

Momentum in housing-finance reformation picked up speed last month as the House Financial Services Committee unveiled the proposed Housing Opportunities Move the Economy (HOME) Forward Act of 2014. The proposed HOME Forward Act was introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters, who stated that the Act provides “an opportunity to address some of the fundamental flaws of the… Continue Reading

Bank of America Foreign Exchange and Mortgage Practices Under Investigation

On Tuesday, Bank of America disclosed in its annual report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that “government regulators” in North America, Europe and Asia are investigating its foreign exchange and mortgage practices and that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and state attorneys general are also investigating its handling of mortgage loans… Continue Reading

Federal Court Follows Recent Statute of Limitations Decision for Mortgage Buyback Claims

ACE Securities Case Determined that Statute of Limitations Begins at Sale of the Loan; Other Courts Have Begun to Follow Suit We recently posted about a critical ruling out of New York’s intermediate state appellate court, the case of ACE Securities Corp. v. DB Structured Products, Inc., 977 N.Y.S.2d 229, 231 (N.Y.A.D. 1st Dept. Dec. 19, 2013)…. Continue Reading

NY Appellate Court Reverses Decision on Statute of Limitations for Mortgage Buyback Claims

On December 19, 2013, correspondent lenders were the beneficiaries of a long-awaited common sense ruling on when the statute of limitations begins to run under New York law for purposes of a mortgage buyback claim. The common-sense answer: when the loan was sold by the correspondent lender (as we have been saying all along!). Statute… Continue Reading

FHFA Announces $1.9 Billion Settlement With Deutsche Bank

On December 20, 2013, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that it will receive settlement payments of $1.925 billion from Deutsche Bank AG in connection with claims of alleged violations of federal and state securities laws related to private-label, residential mortgage-backed securities purchased by Fannie Mae… Continue Reading

FHFA’s $5.1 Billion Settlements With J.P. Morgan Chase

On October 25, 2013, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that it will receive settlement payments of $5.1 billion with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in connection with claims of alleged violations of federal and state securities laws related to private-label, residential mortgage-backed securities purchased by Fannie… Continue Reading

LXBN TV Video Interview regarding Bank of America Lawsuits

Following up on my recent post on the cases, I had the opportunity to speak with  Colin O’Keefe of LXBN TV  regarding the recent fraud suits filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Bank of America. The suits accuse Bank of America of allegedly defrauding buyers of mortgage-backed securities by… Continue Reading

Judge Limits Damages Recoverable On Repurchase Claims

 “Purchase Price” used as contractual measure of damages In an opinion refusing to dismiss a lawsuit by several RMBS mortgage trusts in connection with $1.6 billion of mortgage loans, Judge Harold Baer, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, held that the plaintiffs would be limited to the loan… Continue Reading

Federal Criminal Investigation of JPMorgan

Preliminary conclusions suggest that JPMorgan may have broken federal laws with its sale of mortgage securities The civil division of the Justice Department has preliminarily concluded that JPMorgan broke federal laws in connection with its sale from 2005 to 2007 of subprime and Alt-A residential mortgage securities, and the bank is now under criminal investigation. Federal prosecutors are examining… Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation Would Replace Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

The Future of Housing Reform A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators recently proposed a bill that would replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the next 5 years. If passed by congress, the legislation would replace Fannie and Freddie with a newly created government reinsurer called Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (FMIC), modeled after the Federal… Continue Reading

Questions Swirl About Implications of Bernanke Comments for Housing

The Fed indicates a reduction in its quantitative easing program While mortgage interest rates have repeatedly hit new lows over the past few years helping to spur a recovery in the housing sector, recent comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke could signal that those days are coming to an end. On June 19, Bernanke indicated that, under a… Continue Reading

DOJ Lawsuit Against S&P and McGraw Hill

Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil suit in the Central District of California against Standard & Poor’s Financial Services (S&P) and its parent company McGraw-Hill. The suit alleges that S&P engaged in a scheme to defraud investors in Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) and Collateralized Debt Obligations(CDOs). As noted in the DOJ’s… Continue Reading

New Precedent that Holds Banks Responsible?

Judge Rakoff awards $90.1 million judgment to Assured Guaranty Corp The legal press is abuzz with reports of a New York federal judge’s award of a $90.1 million judgment to mortgage insurer Assured Guaranty Corp. after a lengthy trial in its suit against Flagstar Bank FSB. The lawsuit arose from Assured’s claims that Flagstar had… Continue Reading

SEC Investigating ResCap for Possible Mortgage Fraud

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating bankrupt Ally Financial mortgage unit Residential Capital, LLC, for possible misconduct and misrepresentation in its mortgage lending and underwriting practices. The SEC disclosed in court documents on Monday that it formerly commenced an investigation in February of this year to probe possible fraud in the offer and… Continue Reading