BofA’s Latest Troubles With Fannie Mae, Delaware, New York

In a headline worth reading twice, Bank of America told Fannie Mae it won’t cooperate with Fannie’s new stance on loan buybacks, setting up the lender for a potential surge in claims and penalties.

The bank is disputing Fannie Mae’s demand that lenders repurchase mortgages or cover any losses themselves if an insurer drops coverage, Bank of America said this month in a regulatory filing. BofA said it ‘does not intend to repurchase loans’ under what it deems to be new rules, and the refusal may trigger penalties or other sanctions, according to Fannie Mae. At stake is Bank of America’s ability to contain costs from faulty mortgages, which have reached about $40 billion for refunds, lawsuits and foreclosures…Fannie Mae didn’t enforce this policy before because “it was a different economic time,” said David Felt, a former deputy general counsel at the FHFA. Defaults were fewer and the firm didn’t want to harm relations with lenders by being too picky, he said. “They’d overlook the small things. Well, they’re no longer small things, and they’re no longer the old Fannie Mae.”

And in other Bank of America news, The Financial Times reports that the states of New York and Delaware…

…won the right to intervene in a proposed $8.5bn settlement agreement over soured mortgage bonds between Bank of America and a group of aggrieved investors. New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman and Delaware’s Beau Biden say the deal is inadequate to investors and that the trustee for the investors, Bank of New York Mellon, broke state laws. Mr. Schneiderman asked the judge overseeing the agreement to reject it. Bank of America struck the June accord with 22 institutional investors, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and bond group Pimco, to settle claims that the bank repurchase home loans bundled into 530 securities with an original loan balance of $424bn. BNY Mellon agreed to the deal on behalf of all investors in the securities.” “This could complicate efforts by BofA to limit its exposure to allegedly faulty mortgage practices. The company’s shares have plunged 59 per cent this year in part on concern the bank faces unresolved and unknown mortgage liabilities. Its shares closed at $5.49 on Monday, the lowest since March 2009.

BusinewwWeek: BofA Won’t Cooperate Fannie’s Loan Buyback Policy
FT: States Win Right To Block $8.5b BofA Settlement