Assured Guaranty Announces Settlement with Bank of America on Reps and Warranties Action Involving 29 RMBS Deals

On April 15, 2011, Bank of America and Assured Guaranty Ltd. (“Assured”) announced that they had reached a settlement regarding the Bank’s liabilities with respect to 29 RMBS transactions insured by Assured Guaranty, including liabilities relating to Assured’s allegations of breaches of representations and warranties and historical loan servicing issues. Assured reports that Bank of America and its Countrywide subsidiaries agreed to pay Assured $1.1 billion and entered into a reinsurance arrangement that will reimburse Assured for 80% of all paid losses on the 21 of the 29 offerings that were first lien RMBS transactions until aggregate collateral losses in those transactions exceed $6.6 billion. The 29 RMBS offerings in the settlement cover all securitizations insured by Assured that were sponsored by Bank of America and Countrywide and certain additional securitizations backed by specific concentrations of Countrywide-originated loans. Assured 8k. Bank of America Release.

Federal Court Remands Charles Schwab RMBS Action to State Court

On February 23, 2011, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California remanded to state court an action by Charles Schwab Corporation against 27 defendants concerning alleged misrepresentations in connection with 37 different RMBS purchases across 36 different securitizations. Two defendants had argued that the federal court had jurisdiction over the case because the action “relates to bankruptcy” due to the fact that 262 of the underlying loans were originated by a bankrupt entity who would owe the defendants an indemnity for any misrepresentations on those loans. Without answering whether the indemnity claims at issue were enough to trigger “related to” jurisdiction, the court relied on its equitable power to return the case to state court because any connection to the bankruptcy case was “very, very remote.” Among other things, the court noted that the 262 loans constituted only 5.5% in one of the 36 securitizations at issue, and that the plaintiffs were not asserting any misrepresentations in connection with those particular loans. Order.