Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by Law.com, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!

X

Mortgage group concerned about payment structures for fines

Group says large banks have the option to leverage loans they don’t own in order to settle violations

While the Department of Justice (DOJ) and J.P. Morgan and Chase Co. have still yet to reach a settlement to resolve a number of pending probes, investors are concerned that they could be unfairly required to shoulder the burden the banks pay out.

A group of mortgage bond investors has penned a letter to the DOJ, asking it to prevent any bank from using mortgage-backed security adjustments to pay fines. They did not directly imply that the settlement they were talking about stemmed from the ongoing discussions between JP and the DOJ, but raised concerns surrounding settlements with any major bank.

The group, the Association of Mortgage Investors (AMI), represents about 25 individuals and controls about $56 billion in assets under its organization. In the letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the group’s executive director Chris Katopis says, "Parties sued by the government or third-parties should not be able to settle with assets that they do not own, namely other people's money." 

As of last week, J.P. Morgan and the DOJ had yet to come to agreement terms that would end a series of investigations pending for the bank. Settlement figures as high as $11 billion have been kicked around, according to individuals close to the case, although no official word has been made. According to speculation, $7 billion of that total would be paid out in fines, with an additional $4 billion going towards relief for struggling homeowners.

The Association of Mortgage Investors is said to be posturing proactively because of previous mortgage settlements made this year. In these settlements, banks could receive partial settlement credit if they reduced loan-balances. However, many of the mortgages they reduced balances on were managed by investors, and therefore not technically owned by the banks.

There has been little news out of the J.P. Morgan talks outside of speculation, and it is not known if the Department of Justice is considering the type of payment structure the AMI is fearful of in their talks.

 

Executive Editor

author image

Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Executive Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.