Honorable Denise Cote

Manhattan Federal Judge Denies UBS’s Motion to Dismiss FHFA Suit

On May 4, the Honorable Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York denied UBS Americas Inc.’s (“UBS”) motion to dismiss the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (“FHFA”) complaint against it for violations of the Securities Act. FHFA alleges that UBS fraudulently induced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into purchasing $6.4 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities from 22 different securitizations by misrepresenting the quality of the mortgage loans and that the mortgage loans complied with the applicable underwriting guidelines. Judge Cote held that the complaint was timely and not barred by the Securities Act’s Statute of Repose, as well as that FHFA had standing to bring the action. The Court also held that the complaint stated a claim under the Securities Act because FHFA had alleged actionable misrepresentations in the offering documents concerning LTV ratios, owner-occupancy status and compliance with underwriting guidelines. Judge Cote did, however, dismiss FHFA’s claims for negligent misrepresentation, concluding that because both parties were sophisticated, no special relationship existed that would support such a claim. Decision.