California court allows for consolidation of Countrywide MBS lawsuits
Countrywide Financial Corp. obtained a judicial panel's permission to consolidate eight mortgage-backed securities lawsuits filed against the former subprime lender into one case in the Central District of California. All of the actions deal with similar allegations, with the plaintiffs claiming Countrywide, which is now part of Bank of America (BAC), misrepresented the origination practices on mortgages backing subprime securities issued in 2004 to 2007. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered the eight actions combined into one case before Judge Pfaelzer in the Central District of California. In a separate order, The Bank of New York Mellon (BK), which served as trustee in many of the transactions in question, obtained permission to have the claims against it separated and remanded to the Northern District of Illinois. The California judicial panel narrowed the focus of the consolidated cases to actions brought by investors in Countrywide mortgage-backed securities. The panel said the consolidation will "serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation by avoiding duplicative discovery and other pretrial proceedings on complex factual issues." Bank of America spokesperson Lawrence Grayson told HousingWire Tuesday, "We are pleased with the panel’s decision.” Write to: Kerri Panchuk.