Pot Calls Kettle Black: Deutsch V BOA

See DEUTSCHEBANKv BANKOFAMERICA

This is an action for (1) damages for breach of contract resulting from BOA’s
failure to secure and safeguard over $1.25 billion worth of cash and mortgage loans that it was contractually obligated to secure on behalf of DB and (2) contractual indemnity for the losses caused by BOA’s negligent performance of its duties to DB.

Ocala was established for the sole purpose of providing funding for mortgage
loans originated by Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. (“TBW”). Mortgages purchased by Ocala were required to conform to the requirements of, and were intended to be sold to, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), a government-sponsored entity that is implicitly backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

WET AND DRY MORTGAGES

One vital mechanism protecting DB against risk was the requirement that DB’s investment be at all times over-collateralized by a combination of cash and “dry” mortgages purchased by Ocala. “Dry” mortgages are mortgages that have been reviewed by the lender and are actually in the lender’s possession at the time the mortgage loan is acquired by the lender. By contrast, “wet” funding of mortgages is riskier from the lender’s perspective because financing is provided to a borrower before the mortgage note has been received and reviewed by the lender (i.e., when the ink on the mortgage note is still “wet”). The lender providing wet funding for TBW was Colonial Bank (“Colonial”). In making its investment in Ocala on June 30, 2008, DB insisted that its investment be used only for dry mortgages.

DB trusted that BOA, one of the nation’s largest and most well-known financial institutions, would perform the gatekeeper function reasonably and responsibly. DB’s confidence was echoed by Moody’s Investors Service, which, in assigning Ocala an investment grade rating, emphasized the importance of BOA’s role and stated that risk to DB and other noteholders was “mitigated by the resources, capability and credit strength of BOA as the trustee, collateral agent, depositary and custodian to provide critical program support services, including: certifying the borrowing base and checking the delinquency triggers before the issuance of Ocala’s ABCP; checking in the loan files and creating a collateral transmittal report; and managing the orderly wind-down of the program.” Moody’s ABCP Market Review (July 13, 2009). see Asset Backed Commercial Paper Review

As it turned out, the faith of DB and other investors was misplaced. In myriad ways, BOA failed to carry out its various duties designed to protect DB’s investment, and these failures substantially damaged Ocala and DB’s investment.


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