FHFA preps to sue big banks over MBS: Report
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is ready to file suit against the nation's largest banks, accusing the financial institutions of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage backed-securities sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial meltdown, The New York Times reported Thursday. According to the article, the FHFA lawsuits will target Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Deutsche Bank (DB) among other large MBS players. FHFA, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the article when contacted by HousingWire. Deutsche could not be immediately reached for comment. The news riled Bank of America's stock, which fell nearly 7% in pre-market trading Friday. The Times said the suits are the byproduct of subpoenas the FHFA issued to the banks in 2010. The FHFA's attempt to probe into the MBS sales is well known. In October of last year, a spokesperson for the New York law firm Quinn, Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan said FHFA hired the firm, tipping market analysts on the possibility FHFA would investigate bad mortgages and go after originators. The federal regulator has held Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship since 2008. It issued 64 subpoenas to MBS issuers last year hoping to gain access to loan files and recoup billions. In July, FHFA sued UBS (UBS) alleging the bank violated federal securities laws when selling more than $4.5 billion in residential private-label mortgage-based securities to the GSEs. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.