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Structured Finance Litigation Blog

Justice Department Sues Bank of America Over MBS Fraud

Posted in Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, Department of Justice, Fannie Mae, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Freddie Mac, Investment Banks/Deal Sponsors, Regulators/Government Entities

On October 24, 2012, federal prosecutors in New York filed a civil fraud lawsuit against Bank of America, as successor to mortgage lender Countrywide, in connection with the packaging and sale of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to the complaint, Countrywide implemented–and Bank of America inherited and continued to operate through 2009–a home loan program known as the “Hustle,” which effectively eliminated the underwriting review of mortgage loans that Countrywide originated and that Fannie and Freddie later guaranteed. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed the lawsuit along with the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie and Freddie. The complaint seeks damages and penalties of more than $1 billion for payments that Fannie and Freddie made after the guaranteed loans defaulted. The case is captioned United States v. Bank of America Corp., et al., case number 12-cv-1422 (JSR), in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Read the complaint here.