Regulator for Fannie set to get litigious
The federal regulator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hired a law firm specializing in litigation as the agency considers how to move forward with efforts to recoup billions of dollars on soured mortgage-backed securities purchased from banks and Wall Street firms. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which in July issued 64 subpoenas to issuers of mortgage securities, bank servicing companies and other entities, is working with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, a Los Angeles-based firm that specializes in business litigation, to coordinate its investigations. In a statement, the FHFA said it is analyzing requested information and that "no decisions for future action have been made." Quinn Emanuel confirmed its hiring by FHFA but declined to comment further. Since the financial crisis, 400-lawyer Quinn Emanuel has avoided building a banking clientele, making it a top suitor for plaintiffs pursuing banks. The firm has represented MBIA Insurance Corp. in several lawsuits against top U.S. mortgage banks alleging that the insurer was fraudulently induced to cover losses on mortgage-backed securities. Those cases are ongoing.