Justia Securities Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in New York Court of Appeals
IKB Int’l S.A. v Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
The Court of Appeals modified the decision of the appellate division in this case challenging the devaluation of certain securities, holding that the relevant language in the governing agreements did not impose an affirmative duty on the part of the trustee to enforce repurchase obligations.Plaintiffs were commercial banks incorporated in Germany that invested in residential mortgage-backed securities issued by securitization trusts. Defendants served as trustees for the trusts. When the securities lost significant value in 2008, Plaintiffs sued, alleging that Defendants breached multiple statutory, contractual, and fiduciary duties. Supreme Court rejected Defendants' argument that the action was barred because Plaintiffs did not comply with the requirements of the no-action clause. The appellate division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed as modified, holding (1) failure to comply with the no-action clause did not bar this suit; and (2) this Court declines to recognize an implied contractual duty on Trustees' part to enforce the repurchase protocol obligations of other parties. View "IKB Int'l S.A. v Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law
Worthy Lending LLC v. New Style Contractors, Inc.
The Court of Appeals held that, for purposes of New York's Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) 9-406, an "assignee" includes the holder of a presently exercisable security interest in an assignor's receivables.New Style Contractors, Inc. engaged Checkmate Communications LLC as a subcontractor. Pursuant to a promissory note and security agreement, Checkmate could borrow up to $3 million from Worthy Lending LLC. Checkmate granted Worthy a security interest in its assets, and Worthy filed a UCC-1 financing statement against Checkmate perfecting its secured position regarding Checkmate's assets. Worthy then sent New Style a notice of its security interest and collateral assignment in the New Style accounts. When Checkmate defaulted on the note and filed for bankruptcy. Worthy brought this action against New Style pursuant to UCC 9-607, alleging that Worthy was entitled to recover all amounts New Style owed to Checkmate after New Style's receipt of the notice of assignment. Supreme Court dismissed the complaint. The Appellate Division affirmed, concluding that Worthy did not have an independent cause of action against New Style pursuant to UCC 9-607 because the statute does not authorized a secured creditor as distinct from an assigned, to recover from a nonparty debtor like New Style. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the language of the statute required reversal. View "Worthy Lending LLC v. New Style Contractors, Inc." on Justia Law
ACE Securities Corp. v. DB Structured Products, Inc.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Division affirming Supreme Court's judgment dismissing HSBC Bank USA, National Association's claim against the sponsor of an underlying transaction seeking to "revive" an earlier action filed by two certificateholders pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. 205(a), holding that there was no error.Defendant, as sponsor of a residential mortgage-backed securities trust transaction, purchased thousands of mortgage loans and sold them to ACE Securities Corp. pursuant to an agreement in which the sponsor made various representations and warranties. ACE Securities deposited the loans in the trust, and the loans served as collateral for $500 million in certificates issued by the trust. Those certificates paid principal and interest to certificateholders based on funds generated by the mortgages. After two certificateholders brought an action against the sponsor HSBC filed a complaint on behalf of the trust purporting to substitute as plaintiff for the certificateholders. Supreme Court denied sponsor's motion to dismiss the complaint as untimely. The Appellate Division reversed, concluding that the action was time-barred. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that HSBC could not invoke C.P.L.R. 205(a) to avoid dismissal of this time-barred claim. View "ACE Securities Corp. v. DB Structured Products, Inc." on Justia Law
U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc.
In this residential mortgage-backed securities case, the Court of Appeals held that the contractual "sole remedy repurchase protocol" required that a trustee (Plaintiff) provide loan-specific pre-suit notice in order to invoke a sponsor's (Defendant) repurchase obligation and satisfy the contractual prerequisite to suit. Defendant moved for partial summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims, arguing that the trustee could not pursue recovery for loans not specifically identified in pre-suit letters to the extent the trustee relied on a notice rather than an independent discovery theory. Defendant further sought summary judgment with respect to the method of calculation of the repurchase price. Supreme Court denied the motion, and the appellate division affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) Plaintiff could not seek recovery on the subject loans to the extent it asserted that Defendant's repurchase obligation was triggered by notice; (2) Plaintiff could not rely on the relation back doctrine to avoid the consequences of its failure to comply with the contractual condition precedent with respect to the loans in question before commencing this action; and (3) interest recoverable on liquidated loans was limited to interest that accrued prior to liquidation. View "U.S. Bank National Ass'n v. DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc." on Justia Law
J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. v. Vigilant Insurance Co.
The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Appellate Division reversing Supreme Court's order granting summary judgment to Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and Bear Stearns Securities Corp. (collectively, Bear Stearns) in this action brought by Bear Stearns' successor companies alleging that its insurers (Insurers) had breached insurance contracts, holding that the $140 million disgorgement for which Bear Stearns sought coverage was not a "payment" within the meaning of the relevant policy.When the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) censured Bear Stearns for securities law violations, Bear Stearns agreed to a $160 million disgorgement payment and a $90 million payment for civil money penalties. Both payments were to be deposited in a fund to compensate mutual fund investors allegedly harmed by Bear Stearns' improper trading practices. Bear Stearns transferred the payments to the SEC. Plaintiffs then brought this action against Insurers seeking coverage under a "wrongful act" liability for the disgorged funds. Supreme Court granted summary judgment to Bear Stearns. The Appellate Division reversed, concluding that Bear Stearns was not entitled to coverage for the SEC disgorgement payment. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Insurers failed to establish that the $140 million disgorgement payment clearly and unambiguously fell within the policy exclusion for "penalties imposed by law." View "J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. v. Vigilant Insurance Co." on Justia Law
CNH Diversified Opportunities Master Account, L.P. v Cleveland Unlimited, Inc.
In this lawsuit brought by Plaintiffs, the holders of a minority in principal amount of senior secured debt, against the debtor and its guarantors to recover payment of principal and interest after the issuer defaulted, the Court of Appeals held that Plaintiffs' right to sue for payment on the notes survived a strict foreclosure undertaken by the trustee at the direction of a group of majority bondholders over Plaintiffs' objection that purported to cancel the notes.Supreme Court granted summary judgment to Defendants and denied Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals modified the order of the Appellate Division by reversing the grant of summary judgment to Defendants and granting partial summary to Plaintiffs, holding that Plaintiffs' payment rights were not extinguished by the strict foreclosure, which purportedly cancelled their notes, because the purported cancellation of the notes without the dissenting minority note holders' consent violated the provisions of the indenture agreement. View "CNH Diversified Opportunities Master Account, L.P. v Cleveland Unlimited, Inc." on Justia Law
Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Barclays Bank PLC
In these appeals stemming from two residential mortgage-back securities (RMBS) transactions the Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division reversing the judgment of Supreme Court and granting Defendants' motions to dismiss the complaints alleging breaches of representations and warranties made in underlying mortgage loans, holding that Plaintiff's causes of action accrued in California, and Plaintiff's actions were untimely pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. 202.Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiff's actions, contending that pursuant to section 202 Plaintiff's causes of action accrued in California and were therefore untimely. Plaintiff conceded that it was a resident of California but argued that the court should apply a multi-factor analysis to determine where the cause of action accrued. Supreme Court denied Defendants' motions to dismiss, noting that the parties had chosen New York substantive law to govern their rights. The Appellate Division reversed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) this Court declines to apply the multi-factor test urged by Plaintiff and instead relies on the general rule that when an economic injury has occurred the place of injury is usually where the plaintiff residents; and (2) where Plaintiff is a resident of California, to satisfy section 202 Plaintiff's actions must be timely under California's statute of limitations. View "Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Barclays Bank PLC" on Justia Law
U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of Supreme Court dismissing this action filed by the trustee (Trustee) of three residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) alleging violations of representations and warranties regarding the quality of loans contained in the respective securitization trust instruments, holding that the Trustee’s untimely-filed complaint cannot relate back under N.Y. C.P.L.R. 203(f) to a certificate holder’s previously filed action.Defendant served as seller and sponsor of three RMBS securitization trusts, each governed by a separate pooling and servicing agreement. A certificate holder later filed a notice claiming violations of the representations and warranties for each of the trusts. After the limitations period elapsed, the Trustee filed this complaint. Supreme Court dismissed the action with prejudice. The Appellate Division affirmed, concluding that the complaint was time-barred and that the Trustee could not rely on the prior action because the certificate holder lacked standing to sues. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the certificate holder’s action was subject to dismissal, and there was no valid pre-existing action to which a claim in a subsequent amended pleading may relate back. View "U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc." on Justia Law
U.S. Bank National Ass’n v DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division affirming Supreme Court’s dismissal of the complaint filed by the trustee (Trustee) of the ABSHE 2006 residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trust, without prejudice to refiling, holding that N.Y. C.P.L.R. 205(a) applies to an RMBS trustee’s second action when its timely first action is dismissed for failure to comply with a contractual condition precedent.The Trustee first filed an action against Defendant, the sponsor and seller of the trust securitization, and the action was dismissed for failure to comply with a contractual condition precedent, without prejudice to refiling. The Trustee then filed this action against Defendant claiming violations of representations and warranties regarding the quality of the loans contained in the trust. On appeal, Defendant argued that the first action should have been dismissed with prejudice. The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that the Trustee’s failure to comply with a contractual condition precedent did not foreclose refiling of its action for alleged breach of RMBS representations and warranties pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. 205(a). View "U.S. Bank National Ass’n v DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc." on Justia Law
People v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
Claims brought under the Martin Act, N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law 23-A, 352 et seq., are governed by the three-year statute of limitations in N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214(2) rather than the six-year limitations period in either N.Y. C.P.L.R. 213(1) or 213(8).The Attorney General commenced this action asserting that the issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities by Defendants violated the Martin Act. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the action was time-barred because the operative statute of limitations was the three-year period found in N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214(2), which covers actions to recover upon a liability, penalty or forfeiture created or imposed by statute. Supreme Court denied the motion to dismiss, concluding that the six-year limitations period in N.Y. C.P.L.R. 213 applied because Plaintiff sought to impose liability on Defendants based on the common-law tort of investor fraud. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that because the Martin Act expands liability for fraudulent practices beyond that recognized under the common law, section 214(2) controls. View "People v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC" on Justia Law