The Federal agency that oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is scheduled to file suit against more than a dozen big banks. The suit is accusing Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and other banks of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities they assembled and sold at the height of the housing bubble, and are seeking billions of dollars in compensation.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency suits are expected to be filed in the coming days and stem from subpoenas the finance agency issued to banks a year ago. The suits will argue the banks, which assembled the mortgages and marketed them as securities to investors, failed to perform the due diligence required under securities law and missed evidence that borrowers’ incomes were inflated or falsified. When many borrowers were unable to pay their mortgages, the securities backed by the mortgages quickly lost value. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lost more than $30 billion, in part as a result of the deals. These losses were borne mostly to tax payers.
The suits are being filed now because regulators are concerned that it will be much harder to make claims after a three-year statute of limitations expires this Wednesday, the third anniversary of the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
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