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Volume 10 - Number 54

February 1, 2013

FHFA Settles GE MBS Litigation, Sues Morgan Stanley

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has settled the first mortgage-backed securities lawsuit with the smallest player in the FHFA’s massive litigation against non-agency MBS issuers and underwriters it says sold toxic MBS to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In papers filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, the FHFA “voluntarily dismisses with prejudice” its lawsuit against General Electric Co., ending the legal action in which the Finance Agency had claimed the firm had misled Freddie into purchasing some $549 million of toxic MBS. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed by the FHFA but the agreement also dismissed claims against Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse as underwriters for the securities. “This settlement resolves the dispute between FHFA, and GE consistent with FHFA’s responsibilities as conservator of Freddie Mac,” said FHFA General Counsel Alfred Pollard in a statement. “FHFA is pleased this lawsuit has been resolved and appreciates the work of Freddie Mac on this matter.” The FHFA filed suit during the summer of 2011 against 18 financial institutions, including GE, alleging violations of the federal Securities Act of 1933. The Finance Agency seeks tens of billions of dollars in damages incurred by the GSEs on purchases of approximately $200 billion in non-agency MBS sold between 2005 and 2007. GE had the smallest legal exposure among the major firms named in the FHFA’s lawsuits as GE’s one-time subsidiary, WMC Mortgage, sold MBS only to Freddie.

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