Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Federal Housing Agency Sues 17 Banks for Misrepresenting Risks to Fannie and Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), filed lawsuits against 17 financial institutions, certain of their officers and various Unaffiliated lead underwriters. The suits allege violations of federal securities laws and common law in the sale of residential private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) to the Enterprises.

Complaints have been filed against the following lead defendants:

1. Ally Financial Inc. f/k/a GMAC, LLC
2. Bank of America Corporation
3. Barclays Bank PLC
4. Citigroup, Inc.
5. Countrywide Financial Corporation
6. Credit Suisse Holdings (USA), Inc.
7. Deutsche Bank AG
8. First Horizon National Corporation
9. General Electric Company
10. Goldman Sachs & Co.
11. HSBC North America Holdings, Inc.
12. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
13. Merrill Lynch & Co. / First Franklin Financial Corp.
14. Morgan Stanley
15. Nomura Holding America Inc.
16. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC
17. Société Générale

The complaints were filed in federal or state court in New York or the federal court in Connecticut. The complaints seek damages and civil penalties under the Securities Act of 1933, similar in content to the complaint FHFA filed against UBS Americas, Inc. on July 27, 2011. In addition, each complaint seeks compensatory damages for negligent misrepresentation.  Certain complaints also allege state securities law violations or common law fraud.

As conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHFA is charged with preserving and conserving these companies’ assets and does so on behalf of taxpayers. FHFA alleges that the loans had different and more risky characteristics than the descriptions contained in the marketing and sales materials provided to the Enterprises for those securities.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/securities/2011/09/federal-housing-agency-sues-17-banks-for-misrepresenting-risks-to-fannie-and-freddie.html

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