New York and Delaware Attorneys General Permitted to Intervene in Bank of America Settlement Approval Proceeding

On November 18, 2011, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III of the Southern District of New York granted the requests of the attorneys general of New York and Delaware to intervene in the proceeding seeking approval of an $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America Corp. and the Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee for several trusts that issued Countrywide Financial Corp. RMBS certificates. The Court found that the intervention of the state AGs would protect the interests of absent investors. In the same order, the Court denied requests to intervene brought by four individual homeowners who are obligors on mortgages owned by one or more of the trusts covered by the proposed settlement agreement. The Court found that the homeowners lacked a direct financial interest in the outcome of the case and could not establish any potential prejudice they might suffer by not being permitted to participate in the settlement approval proceeding. Order.

Bank of America $8.5 Billion RMBS Settlement Proceeding to Stay in Federal Court

Judge William H. Pauley III of the Southern District of New York ruled on October 19 that federal court is the proper forum for the proceeding brought by Bank of New York Mellon Corp., as Trustee, seeking court approval of the $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America Corp. and holders of Countrywide mortgage-backed securities. BONY Mellon commenced the proceeding in state court in June 2011. A number of investor groups, and the attorneys general of two states, intervened to oppose the settlement, and one of the objecting investor groups – the “Walnut Place” investors – then removed the action to federal court. Judge Pauley denied BONY Mellon’s motion to remand to state court, holding that the case was properly removed as a “mass action” under the Class Action Fairness Act. Order.