NY Court Says Bank of America Must Disclose Communications with Countrywide
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s highest court ruled Thursday that Bank of America must disclose to an insurer communications it had with Countrywide Financial six months before the bank bought the mortgage lending company in 2008. The insurer, Ambac Assurance Corp., claims in a lawsuit that Countrywide illegally misrepresented its mortgage-backed securities.
The Court of Appeals ruled attorney-client privilege doesn’t shield hundreds of communications between the two institutions and their lawyers from Ambac as it collects evidence for its fraud lawsuit. The court reinstated the order of a judge in Manhattan, where the fraud case is pending.
Ambac guaranteed payments on securities issued by Countrywide subsidiaries between 2004 and 2006.
“Ambac argues that the very communications Bank of America withheld from disclosure would have revealed that the merging entities structured their transaction to conceal Countrywide’s fraudulent dealings and leave potential victims without recourse,” Judge Eugene Pigott Jr. wrote. “Defendants … respond that there is no evidence of actual abuse in this case.”
Full opinion below…
Ambac Assur. Corp. v Countrywide Home Loans