BofA, MBIA continue battle over evidence discovery
Bank of America is defending itself after insurer MBIA filed a letter with a court asking for sanctions against BofA over alleged delays or failure to produce records compelled in discovery.
MBIA, which is suing Countrywide over alleged misrepresentations made about the quality of Countrywide loans that MBIA insured as securities, is requesting documents that could shed light on allegations of fraud within the former subprime lending giant. BofA purchased Countrywide in 2008.
In a letter to Judge Eileen Bransten with the New York State Supreme Court, MBIA claims BofA failed to produce documents requested on fraud allegations, delayed the production of requested materials and dumped thousands of documents on MBIA at the last minute, making it difficult for the insurer to conduct an appropriate investigation before depositions in the case.
Bank of America responded with its own letter to the court. The bank said the allegations are baseless and blamed the mass release of documents on a coding error that was disclosed to MBIA.
Furthermore, in its letter, BofA claims MBIA refused to wait for the coding error situation to be remedied, which led to the production of documents on a rolling basis. The bank claims MBIA knew the process would take weeks and says BofA devoted significant resources to the document production.
MBIA views the recent discovery spat in a different light.
"Over the course of the last three weeks, Bank of America has produced nearly 170,000 pages of new, relevant, successor liability documents," MBIA attorneys wrote. "These productions, which are continuing, have forced postponement of a number of successor liability depositions and compelled MBIA to agree to a brief extension of the successor liability discovery schedule. This is just the latest conduct by BAC to sabotage the discovery schedule and cause MBIA significant prejudices, and is part of an indefensible pattern of delay and discovery abuses by both the BAC and Countrywide defendants."
MBIA's request for discovery sanctions also claim Countrywide failed to produce documents related to allegations of fraud on Countrywide home loans.
"This includes withholding important categories of documents on specious grounds and then selectively producing certain of such documents that it believes are favorable on the eve of (or during) depositions," MBIA said in its filing.
Bank of America denies the discovery process has prejudiced MBIA and says MBIA's sanction requests are baseless in a letter to the court.