NCUA Sues U.S. Bank and Bank of America for Allegedly Failing to Comply with RMBS Trustee Duties

On December 16, National Credit Union Administration filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against U.S. Bank N.A. and Bank of America N.A., in their capacity as trustees for 99 RMBS trusts. NCUA filed the suit as liquidating agent for five failed credit unions collectively alleged to have purchased certificates in the trusts at issue. NCUA alleges that U.S. Bank and Bank of America breached their duties under the governing trust agreements by failing to properly review and monitor the loans backing the RMBS, failing to notify the investors of deficiencies in the loans, failing to take action to address those alleged deficiencies, and failing to require the repurchase of defective loans. The complaint asserts causes of action under the Trust Indenture Act and the Streit Act, a New York statute that governs administration of mortgage trusts, and seeks compensatory damages and unspecified equitable relief.  Complaint.

NCUA Sues Wells Fargo for Allegedly Failing to Comply with RMBS Trustee Duties

On December 22, National Credit Union Administration sued Wells Fargo, as an RMBS trustee, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. NCUA filed the suit in its capacity as liquidating agent for five credit unions, collectively alleged to have purchased $2.4 billion in 27 RMBS trusts for which Wells Fargo served as trustee. NCUA alleges that Wells Fargo breached its duties under the governing trust agreements by failing to properly review and monitor the loans underlying the RMBS, failing to notify the investors of deficiencies in the loans, failing to take action to address those alleged deficiencies, and failing to require the repurchase of defective loans. The complaint asserts causes of action under the Trust Indenture Act and a provision of the New York Real Property Law known as the Streit Act.  Complaint.

NCUA Sues Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. For Allegedly Failing to Comply With RMBS Trustee Duties

The National Credit Union Administration, acting as liquidating agent for five failed credit unions, sued Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (DBNTC) for allegedly breaching its duties as trustee under the governing trust agreements for 121 RMBS trusts with a total original face value of approximately $140 billion. The complaint, filed November 10, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, asserts causes of action under the Trust Indenture Act and a provision of the New York Real Property Law known as the Streit Act. The complaint alleges that DBNTC failed to properly review and monitor the loans underlying the RMBS, notify the investors of deficiencies in the loans, take action to address those alleged deficiencies, and enforce the repurchase of defective loans as provided for in the governing agreements. The complaint also alleges that DBNTC failed to exercise proper oversight over the loans’ servicers, including by failing to declare the servicers and master services in default under the agreements. NCUA seeks unspecified damages, equitable relief, pre- and post-judgment interest, and fees and costs.  Complaint.

NCUA Can Bring RMBS Claims Against Goldman Sachs in Federal Court

On January 28, Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied Goldman Sachs’s motion to compel arbitration for RMBS claims brought by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). NCUA brought the claims as the liquidating agent of the Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union. Goldman sought to compel arbitration under an agreement between Southwest and Goldman Sachs from 1992. The court held that NCUA has the power to repudiate contracts of a credit union in liquidation under the terms of its enabling legislation, and exercised that authority here. NCUA’s claims under Sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933 and under the Texas Securities Act will proceed in federal district court. Order.

Judge Dismisses Federal Securities Claims from NCUA Action Against Morgan Stanley

On January 22, Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York trimmed claims from a lawsuit brought by the National Credit Union Administration Board, as liquidating agent for various federal credit unions, alleging that two Morgan Stanley entities made material misrepresentations in the offering documents for $400 million in RMBS.  Partially granting Morgan Stanley’s motion to dismiss, the court held that NCUA’s federal securities claims were time-barred under the three-year statute of repose imposed by the Securities Act of 1933.  In reaching this conclusion, the court found that NCUA did not become conservator for the credit unions until after the statute of repose had run, and therefore could not avail itself of a provision of the Federal Credit Union Act that extends the limitations period for actions brought by the NCUA.  Despite its dismissal of NCUA’s federal securities claims, the court ruled that securities claims against Morgan Stanley brought under Illinois and Texas blue sky laws both were timely and adequately pled.  Decision.

Supervisory Approach for Qualified and non-Qualified Mortgage Loans

On December 13, Fed, FDIC, NCUA and OCC issued a statement to clarify safety-and-soundness expectations in order to guide institutions engaged in residential mortgage lending as they assess the implementation of the CFPB’s Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage Standards Rule, which is effective January 10, 2014.  Joint ReleaseJoint Statement.

Final Rules on Appraisal Exemptions for Higher-Priced Mortgages

On December 12, the Fed, FDIC, CFPB, FHFA, NCUA and OCC issued a final rule that creates exemptions from certain appraisal requirements for certain higher-priced mortgage loans.  The final rule provides that loans of $25,000 or less and certain “streamlined” refinancings are exempt from the Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements, which go into effect on January 18, 2014.  Joint ReleaseJoint Final Rule.

Joint Rule on Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans

On January 18, the Fed, CFPB, FDIC, FHFA, NCUA and OCC issued a joint final rule, effective January 18, 2014, which establishes new appraisal requirements for “higher-priced mortgage loans”.  For these loans, the rule requires creditors to: (i) use a licensed or certified appraiser who prepares a written appraisal report based on a physical visit of the interior of the property and (ii) disclose to applicants information about the purpose of the appraisal and provide consumers with a free copy of any appraisal report.  Joint Release.  Final Rule.