Walnut Place LLC v. Countrywide Home Loans Inc | Bank of America Sued by Investors Seeking to Unload Loans

Bank of America Sued by Investors Seeking to Unload Loans

Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, was sued by investors in mortgage-backed bonds who are seeking to force the bank to buy back loans underlying their securities.

Bank of America’s Countrywide Financial unit breached representations and warranties about the loans, which it originated, the investors said in the complaint filed yesterday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

“Each of these breaches of representations and warranties materially and adversely affected the interests of both the trust and plaintiffs in those mortgage loans,” they said.

From the complaint…

This is a derivative action for breach of a Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA) under which defendant Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. and some of its affiliates sold residential mortgage loans to a securitization trust, Alternative Loan Trust 2006-OA10.

The Trust owned 6,531 mortgage loans as of June 30, 2006, the closing date of the PSA. Plaintiffs selected 2,166 of those 6,531 mortgage loans that were delinquent or on which the borrower had defaulted and investigated the true condition of those mortgage loans. The investigation showed that Countrywide Home Loans made false representations and warranties about at least 1,432 (or nearly 66%) of the 2,166 mortgage loans that Plaintiffs investigated.

THE POOLING AND SERVICING AGREEMENT

Countrywide Home Loans also represented and warranted that “[n]o Mortgage Loan had a Loan-to-Value Ratio at origination in excess of 95.00%.”

Countrywide Home Loans also represented and warranted that “[a]ll of the Mortgage Loans were underwritten in all material respects in accordance with Countrywide’s underwriting guidelines as set forth in the Prospectus Supplement.”

Countrywide Home Loans also represented and warranted that (except with respect to some loans originated under its Streamlined Documentation program) “prior to the
approval of the Mortgage Loan application, an appraisal of the related Mortgaged Property was obtained from a qualified appraiser, duly appointed by the originator, who had no interest, direct or indirect, in the Mortgaged Property or in any loan made on the security thereof, and whose compensation is not affected by the approval or disapproval of the Mortgage Loan; such appraisal is in a form acceptable to FNMA and FHLMC.”

EVIDENCE OF BREACHES BASED ON PLAINTIFFS’ INVESTIGATION

Because the mortgage loans in the Trust have experienced a high number of defaults, Plaintiffs conducted an investigation to determine whether the loans were accurately described when they were sold to the Trust. This investigation demonstrated that many of the loans breached one or more of the five representations and warranties described above.

Plaintiffs’ investigation showed that the true values of the properties that secured the loans in the trust were inaccurate by using an automated valuation model, or AVM, and by looking at subsequent sales of properties that were included in the trust.

There was sufficient information to determine the value of 1,574 of the properties that secured loans, and thereby to calculate the correct LTV of each of those loans, as of the date on which each loan was made. On 1,134 of those 1,574 properties, the AVM reported that the appraised value in Schedule I of the PSA was 105% or more of the true market value as determined by the model, and the amount by which the stated values of those properties exceeded their true market values in the aggregate was $119,440,958. The AVM reported that the appraised value in Schedule I of the PSA was 95% or less of the true market value on only 101 properties, and the amount by which the true market values of those properties exceeded the reported values was $9,368,841. Thus, the number of properties on which the value was overstated exceeded by more than 11 times the number on which the value was understated, and the aggregate amount overstated was nearly 13 times the aggregate amount understated.

Breach of Schedule III-A (37) & (38)

The mortgage loans were originated by Countrywide Home Loans. Countrywide Home Loans’ underwriting requirements stated that, except with respect to some mortgage loans originated pursuant to its Streamlined Documentation Program, “Countrywide Home Loans obtains appraisals from independent appraisers or appraisal services for properties that are to secure mortgage loans. . . . All appraisals are required to conform to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac appraisal standards then in effect.” Pros. Sup. S-89. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac appraisal standards require that appraisals be independent, unbiased, and not contingent on a predetermined result. Many of the appraisals, however, were conducted by appraisers who were not independent, and so did not comply with Fannie and Freddie standards.

Appraisals were not conducted by independent appraisers.

As reported in the 2007 National Appraisal Survey conducted by October Research, around the time of this securitization, brokers and loan officers pressured appraisers by threatening to withhold future assignments if an appraised value was not high enough to enable the transaction to close and sometimes by refusing to pay for completed appraisals that were not high enough. This pressure came in many forms, including the following:

· the withholding of business if the appraisers refused to inflate values;

· the withholding of business if the appraisers refused to guarantee a predetermined value;

· the withholding of business if the appraisers refused to ignore deficiencies in the property;

· the refusal to pay for an appraisal that did not give the brokers and loans officers the property values that they wanted; and

· the black listing of honest appraisers in order to use “rubber stamp” appraisers.

As described above, the number of properties on which the value was overstated was more than 11 times the number on which the value was understated, and the aggregate amount overstated was nearly 13 times the aggregate amount understated. This lopsided result demonstrates the upward bias in appraisals of properties that secured the mortgage loans in the Trust.

Early Payment Defaults

When a loan becomes 60 or more days delinquent within six months after it was made it is called an early payment default. An EPD is strong evidence that the loan did not conform to the underwriting standards in making the loan, often by failing to detect fraud in the application.

Twenty-eight loans in the collateral pool of this securitization experienced EPDs.

Full complaint and exhibits below…

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4closureFraud.org

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Complaint – Walnut Place LLC v. Country Wide Home Loans Inc

Exhibit 1 – Walnut Place LLC v. Country Wide Home Loans Inc

Exhibit 2 – Walnut Place LLC v. Country Wide Home Loans Inc

Exhibit 3 – Walnut Place LLC v. Country Wide Home Loans Inc

Exhibit 4 – Walnut Place LLC v. Country Wide Home Loans Inc

Exhibit 5 – Walnut Place LLC v. Country Wide Home Loans Inc

Exhibit 6 – Walnut Place LLC v. Country Wide Home Loans Inc

Comments
3 Responses to “Walnut Place LLC v. Countrywide Home Loans Inc | Bank of America Sued by Investors Seeking to Unload Loans”
  1. Marcy says:

    “Certain Modifications and Refinancings

    Countrywide Home Loans will be permitted under the pooling and servicing agreement to solicit borrowers
    for reductions to the Mortgage Rates of their respective Mortgage Loans. If a borrower requests such a reduction,
    the master servicer will be permitted to agree to the rate reduction provided that Countrywide Home Loans
    purchases the Mortgage Loan from the issuing entity immediately following the modification. Any purchase of a
    mortgage loan subject to a modification will be for a price equal to 100% of the Stated Principal Balance of that
    mortgage loan, plus accrued and unpaid interest on the mortgage loan up to the next Due Date at the applicable net
    mortgage rate, net of any unreimbursed advances of principal and interest on the mortgage loan made by the master
    servicer. Countrywide Home Loans will remit the purchase price to the master servicer for deposit into the
    Certificate Account within one business day of the purchase of that mortgage loan. Purchases of mortgage loans
    may occur when prevailing interest rates are below the interest rates on the mortgage loans and mortgagors request
    modifications as an alternative to refinancings. Countrywide Home Loans will indemnify the issuing entity against
    liability for any prohibited transactions taxes and related interest, additions or penalties incurred by any REMIC as a
    result of any modification or purchase. ”

    I read the above listed in the PSA. My own loan is countrywide, now BOA as servicer and BONY ( Mellon ) as Trustee /investor. I am wondering if my PSA is the same as this as far as modification rules go.

    Does anyone understand what this means about modification?

    It looks to me like the servicer is saying that they can modify and if they do they buy back the loan?

    If that is what it means than I don’t understand how, or why they need the investors permission to modify, the whole NPV thing etc.

    Does anyone understand this?

    Thanks!

  2. losing my home in florida says:

    after these findings we know all trust will have identical findings. they should stop all foreclosures now. this is quite
    horrible to allow this to go on when the home owner have nothing to do with fraudulent appraisers. they also didnt include how much higher the loan values were to salaries???? 4 to 5 times higher than salaries. 2 to 3 is enough all anyone can afford. that they didnt include . fraudulent loans we all new this. its comming out now while we are all losing our homes?????

  3. Amy Reaux says:

    They all need to do this…..get in contact with the homeowners. I can show how my loan was presented as a refi to look better to the investor instead of the purchase loan it was. This is so much deeper than how these were presented it goes to the REAL numbers and until they involve the homeowners they won’t have ALL the facts. Shame is they will get something for this….but the bank will still get the house and the homeowner will still be lost.

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