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Ambac Sues Bank of America Over Mortgage-Based Securities

bloomberg.comApr 16, 2012

By Chris Dolmetsch

Ambac Assurance Corp. sued Bank of America Corp. in New York state court, accusing the company of breach of contract over a mortgage-backed securitization sponsored by its Merrill Lynch unit.

First Franklin Financial Corp., three Merrill Lynch units and Bank of America “acted in concert” to induce Ambac to issue an insurance policy covering payments due on securities issued in the transaction, the New York-based bond insurer said in the complaint.

Ambac claimed fraudulent inducement and breach of contract in the suit, filed today in Manhattan. Lawrence Grayson, a spokesman for Charlotte-based Bank of America, declined to comment immediately on the lawsuit in an e-mail.

The insurer asked for unspecified punitive and compensatory damages and an order directing the defendants to repurchase loans. First Franklin was a subprime-mortgage originator acquired in 2006 by Merrill Lynch, which was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

Ambac Assurance was the second-largest bond insurer before the 2008 financial crisis, when defaults on mortgages swamped the company with claims. It guaranteed about $256 billion of $1.4 trillion in insured municipal debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A U.S. bankruptcy judge in Manhattan on March 15 approved a plan to reorganize the $1.7 billion in debt of New York-based Ambac Financial Group Inc. (ABKFQ), the bankrupt holding company for Ambac Assurance.

The case is Ambac Assurance Corp. v. First Franklin Financial Corp., 651217/2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).


Back to April 2012 Archive

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