New York state court

Knights of Columbus Seek Damages from Bank of New York Mellon

On August 16, 2011, the Knights of Columbus amended their complaint against Bank of New York Mellon in New York state court to seek damages from BNY Mellon as trustee of 18 RMBS trusts serviced by Countrywide Financial Corp. In an initial complaint filed in May, the Knights of Columbus sought an accounting for the 18 trusts. Alleging that information obtained after the filing of that complaint demonstrates that BNY Mellon has violated its contractual and other obligations, the amended complaint seeks to preserve plaintiff’s claims against BNY Mellon for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and unfair trade practices to the extent that those claims survive Bank of America’s proposed $8.5 billion settlement of Countrywide Financial Corp. representations and warranties claims. Complaint.

Walnut Place Files Derivative Suit Against Bank of New York Mellon and Countrywide in Response to Recent Settlement

On August 2, 2011, several investment entities under the name Walnut Place (“Plaintiffs”) filed a derivative complaint against Countrywide Home Loans on behalf of Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”) in New York State Court. Plaintiffs allege that Countrywide breached representations and warranties concerning the mortgage loans underlying Countrywide RMBS that Plaintiffs purchased. According to the Complaint, upon realization of the breach, Plaintiffs demanded in May 2011 that Countrywide repurchase the loans, which Countrywide allegedly refused to do. Plaintiffs are now suing Countrywide on behalf of BNYM, the Trustee to the RMBS that Plaintiffs purchased, to enforce the rights of the Trust on behalf of themselves and other RMBS certificateholders. According to Plaintiffs, because Countrywide and BNYM have since announced a proposed settlement that would extinguish Plaintiffs’ claims against Countrywide, it is futile to expect BNYM to sue Countrywide to enforce its repurchase obligations and Plaintiffs therefore bring their suit in a derivative action. Complaint.

Syncora Guarantee Inc. Sues J.P. Morgan Securities LLC as Successor to Bear Stearns & Co.

On June 6, 2011, Syncora Guarantee Inc. filed a complaint in New York state court against J.P. Morgan Securities LLC as successor to Bear Stearns & Co. Syncora’s complaint alleges that Bear, as underwriter of the GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Trust 2007-HE1, made false and misleading statements about the loan pool that fraudulently induced Syncora to issue a financial insurance gauranty policy for the trust. Further, Syncora alleges that J.P. Morgan has since interfered with the originator’s contractual obligation to repurchase loans that breached the originators representations and warranties. Syncora alleges it has paid more than $320.2 million in unreimbursed insurance claims owing to $404 million in losses for the GreenPoint Trust. Notably, Syncora alleges that it uncovered the evidence it cites to support its claim through ongoing federal litigation against the originator, EMC Mortgage Corp. Syncora Decision.

Allstate Sues Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse for Fraud

On February 28, 2011, Allstate Insurance, represented by Quinn Emanuel, filed complaints against Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse affiliated entities in New York state court in connection with Allstate’s purchase of RMBS from those entities. The complaints follow similar complaints by Allstate against JP Morgan, Washington Mutual, Bear Stearns, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank entities. The complaints allege that defendants fraudulently misrepresented the quality of the loans underlying the RMBS they underwrote and sold to plaintiff. Both complaints allege causes of action for common law fraud, fraudulent inducement, and negligent misrepresentation. The complaint against Merrill Lynch also adds claims for violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the ’33 Act. Allstate purchased over $167 million in RMBS from Merrill Lynch and over $231 million from Credit Suisse. CS Complaint. Merrill Complaint.

Allstate Sues JP Morgan, Washington Mutual, Bear Stearns, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank for Fraud

On February 18, 2011, Allstate Insurance filed complaints against Citigroup- and Deutsche Bank-affiliated entities in New York state court. Two days earlier, Allstate filed a similar complaint in the same court against a number of JP Morgan, Washington Mutual, and Bear Stearns entities. The three complaints each allege that defendants fraudulently misrepresented the quality of the loans underlying the RMBS they underwrote and sold to plaintiff. Allstate brings causes of action for negligent misrepresentation and common law fraud in all three actions and for violations of Sections 11 and 12(a)(2) of the ’33 Act against JP Morgan and Citigroup but not Deutsche Bank. Allstate purchased over $200 million in RMBS from Citigroup, over $185 million from Deutsche Bank, and over $750 million from JP Morgan. Complaint Against Citigroup. Complaint Against Deutsche Bank.

Investor Group Sues Countrywide to Enforce Contractual Buy-Back Provision

On February 23, 2011, a group of holders of RMBS certificates represented by Plaintiffs’ lawyer David Grais filed a breach of contract claim against Countrywide Home Loans (now part of Bank of America) in New York State court, alleging that they were defrauded into purchasing over $1 billion in RMBS. The plaintiffs, who allege that they collectively own more than 25% of the voting rights in the issuer, sue derivatively on behalf of the Trustee, the Bank of New York Mellon, which is named as a nominal defendant. Plaintiffs ask the court to enforce a buyback provision in the Pooling and Servicing agreement or alternatively to award damages. Complaint.

RMBS Complaint Filed Against Countrywide in New York State Court

On January 24, 2011, a group of institutional investors represented by Bernstein Litowitz, including Dexia Holdings Inc., TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Co., and New York Life Insurance Co., filed a case in New York State Court accusing Countrywide Financial Corp. (now an affiliate of Bank of America) and several executives of selling RMBS backed by materially false statements and omissions made knowingly or recklessly. Plaintiffs seek compensatory and/or rescissionary damages for fraud and negligent misrepresentation, statutory damages under the Securities Act, and punitive damages for common-law fraud. Complaint