Posted on 07 November 2010.
By Jody Shenn and David Mildenberg – Nov 5, 2010 4:21 PM ET
Bank of America Corp., responding to the attorney for a bondholder group that’s pushing the bank to repurchase soured home loans, demanded proof the lawyer is authorized to mount an attack on behalf of investors including units of BlackRock Inc. and MetLife Inc.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s Theodore N. Mirvis is among lawyers for Bank of America who said in a letter yesterday to Houston-based Gibbs & Bruns LLP’s Kathy Patrick that they want the names of individuals who approved signatures on a letter Patrick sent the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender last month. They also want to know whether the board of directors for the bondholders Patrick said she represents approved signing of her correspondence.
“Troubling aspects of your letter strongly suggest that it was written for an improper purpose, or in furtherance of an ulterior agenda,” Bank of America’s attorneys wrote, saying they see no need to take action in response to Patrick’s letter.
Investors are stepping up efforts to recoup losses on mortgage bonds, which plummeted in value amid the worst slump in home prices since the 1930s. Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan said Oct. 19 the lender will “defend our shareholders” by disputing any unjustified demands for mortgage buybacks.
Bank of America’s lawyers said they couldn’t determine “whether any investigation of your allegations is warranted” unless Patrick proves her clients own as much of the bonds created by the bank’s Countrywide Financial Corp. unit as they claim. Patrick also needs to show on a deal-by-deal basis how the bank is falling short of its responsibilities in servicing the home loans in the 115 securitizations at issue, they said.
Moynihan, 51, said yesterday that he was surprised by the Oct. 19 letter from investors, which included the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Moynihan’s company has resolved other debt disputes with the investors, and he has called BlackRock CEO Larry Fink to discuss the mortgage buyback issue, he said.
Patrick declined to comment.
Jerry Dubrowski, a spokesman for Bank of America, confirmed the letter’s authenticity and declined to comment further.
Lawyers Brian E. Pastuszenski of Goodwin Procter LLP and Marc T.G. Dworsky of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP also signed the yesterday’s letter to Patrick, which was reported earlier today by the New York Times.
Do Not Print Letter Below (Poor quality and might not come out)
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