Judge George B. Daniels

US Bank Cannot Revive Majority of MBS Suit Against Citigroup

U.S. Bank NA v. Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp., No. 1:13-cv-06989 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 1, 2013)

On March 16, 2015, Judge George B. Daniels of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the majority of claims in U.S. Bank’s attempt to refile an amended complaint against Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. and CitiMortgage, Inc.  U.S. Bank, as RMBS trustee, had sued Citigroup in October 2013, alleging that it breached representations and warranties in a $832 million RMBS deal.  In November 2014, Judge Daniels dismissed most of the claims, but permitted leave to amend.  In addressing U.S. Bank’s proposed amendments, Judge Daniels first held that the cause of action for breach of representations and warranties was untimely as to certain loans under the six-year statute of limitations.  Next, it dismissed U.S. Bank’s second claim that Citigroup independently discovered defects in the loan pool through due diligence or government investigations, because U.S. Bank failed to allege non-speculative facts plausibly showing such discovery.  These rulings were substantially similar to those set forth in the November 2014 order.  Finally, Judge Daniels permitted U.S. Bank’s third cause of action to proceed, holding that the plaintiff sufficiently pleaded that CitiMortgage discovered breaches of representations and warranties during its servicing of the securitized loans, and did not fulfill its contractual duties to notify the parties of the breaches and to enforce Citigroup’s cure or repurchase obligation.  Order

Washington Mutual Settles RMBS Suit Brought by Union Central Life Insurance Co.

On December 17, 2012, two Washington Mutual affiliates settled a lawsuit brought against them by Union Central Life Insurance Co. concerning $4.3 million in Washington Mutual-sponsored RMBS purchased by Union Central.  In its amended complaint, Union Central alleged that Washington Mutual knowingly made false and misleading statements in the RMBS offering materials concerning the loans underlying the certificate, Washington Mutual’s compliance with its underwriting standards, and the accuracy of credit ratings assigned to the offered certificate.  Union Central asserted three causes of action against the Washington Mutual affiliates for common law fraud, unjust enrichment, and aiding and abetting.  Amended Complaint.  Judge George B. Daniels of the Southern District of New York so ordered Union Central’s notice of dismissal of the action with prejudice as to the two Washington Mutual defendants.  No terms of the settlement were provided.  Earlier this year in the same action, Union Central settled its claims against Wells Fargo.  The action continues against other defendants. Order.