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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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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

The FHFA’s New Buy-Back Statement

Higher Degree of Certainty and Clarity? The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, released a statement yesterday saying it was working with those two entities, which are the nation’s major government-backed mortgage securities investors, to “provide lenders a higher degree of certainty and clarity around repurchase exposure and liability… Continue Reading

Credit Rating Agencies’ Opinions Are Not Immune

Recently, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, Southern District of New York, rejected the contentions of Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and several ratings agencies, including Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, that credit ratings are merely “predictive opinions” that cannot give rise to actions for negligence. The suit involves a consolidation of two lawsuits brought… Continue Reading

Future With Fannie and Freddie Lesser Evil Than With Wall Street?

A Rare Point of Agreement Margaret Chadbourn of Reuters recently reported {April 23} that both Republicans and Democrats have “found a rare point of agreement.” They want to phase out or at least substantially reduce the role of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae ) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac… Continue Reading

$10 Million Default Judgment Obtained Against CEO of Brookstreet Securities

Charged for Misleading Investors as the Subprime Mortgage Crisis Began to Deepen The interplay of federal judges, the SEC and the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities disaster continues (and probably will for a long time to come). In Los Angeles, U.S. District Judge David Carter fined former Brookstreet Securities Corp CEO, Stanley Brooks, the sum of… Continue Reading

Bank of America to Mortgage Originators on Buyback Claims: “Heads I Win, Tails I Still Win”

Bank of America (aka BofA) has decided to stop selling mortgages to Fannie. (Check out David Benoit’s recent Wall Street Journal blog post.) This development underscores yet another reason why mortgage loan originators should be extremely hesitant to enter into big-dollar “global” settlements with BofA. Estimated Future Losses A large component of the “damages” that BofA… Continue Reading

Settling with Government – SEC Gets Paid and Subprime Mortgage Securities Investors Suffer Huge Losses

Citimortgage Admits Liability On February 15th, 2012, in a clearly pre-negotiated deal between the US Attorney’s Office, on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and CITIMORTGAGE, INC. (a subsidiary of CITIBANK, N.A., and “CMI”), a complaint was filed against CMI in the US District Court in Manhattan and simultaneously settled for $158.3… Continue Reading