Judge throws out MBIA MBS fraud claim against Credit Suisse
A New York state supreme court judge dismissed bond insurer MBIA's (MBI) fraud claims against Credit Suisse (CS) this week, saying MBIA's allegations could not survive because the insurance giant failed to investigate material facts about the mortgage-backed securities it insured for Credit Suisse. The judge also tossed out MBIA's request for punitive damages, leaving the insurer with only the option of pursuing breach of contract claims. "We are pleased with the decision," said Steven Vames, a spokesperson for Credit Suisse. An MBIA representative said the insurer intends to appeal the ruling. A second fraud claim against Credit Suisse was dismissed, with the court saying it duplicated an existing breach of contract claim made by MBIA. In its original complaint filed in 2009, MBIA accused Credit Suisse of fraud and breach of contract. At the time, MBIA claimed 80% of the loans securitized by Credit Suisse failed to meet underwriting standards. MBIA alleged that Credit Suisse and co-defendants DLG Mortgage Capital Inc. and Select Portfolio Servicing sought out an MBIA insurance policy to "enhance the marketability of the securities" that were being held in Trust after they were acquired from the originator. This is the second time a New York court has tossed out a fraud claim filed by a bond insurer against Credit Suisse. Like MBIA, Ambac Assurance Corp. accused Credit Suisse of failing to represent the risk contained in securitizations backed by mortgages. In April, a New York court threw out Ambac's fraud claims against the bank, saying those allegations duplicated breach of contract claims already made in the suit. Write to Kerri Panchuk.