SEC Charges Bank of America Entities with Material Misrepresentations and Omissions in Connection with an RMBS Offering

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) filed a civil injunctive action against Bank of America, N.A. (BANA), Banc of America Mortgage Securities, Inc. (BOAMS), and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. f/k/a Banc of America Securities LLC (BAS) (collectively the Bank of America Entities). The Commission alleges that the Bank of America Entities made material misrepresentations and omissions in connection with the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities known as BOAMS 2008-A. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Bank of America Entities failed to disclose the disproportionate concentration of wholesale loans (72% by unpaid principal balance) underlying BOAMS 2008-A as compared to prior BOAMS offerings. The complaint also alleges that the Bank of America Entities failed to disclose known risks associated with the high concentration of wholesale loans in BOAMS 2008-A including higher likelihood that the loans would be subject to material underwriting errors, become severely delinquent, fail early in the life of the loan, or prepay. The complaint further alleges that the Bank of America entities violated Regulation S-K and subpart Regulation AB of the Securities Act by failing to disclose the material characteristics of the pool of loans underlying BOAMS 2008-A. The complaint also alleges that the Bank of America Entities made material misrepresentations and omissions in its public filings and in the loan tapes it provided to investors and rating agencies that the loans in BOAMS 2008-A complied with BANA’s underwriting standards when a material amount did not. Finally, the complaint alleges that BOAMS and BAS violated Section 5(b)(1) of the Securities Act by failing to file with the Commission certain loan tapes that it provided only to select investors.

The Commission’s complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, charges the Bank of America Entities with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The complaint alleges that each violated Sections 17(a)(2) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act. The complaint also alleges that BAS and BOAMS violated Section 5(b)(1) of the Securities Act. The complaint seeks against each of the Bank of America Entities a permanent injunction, disgorgement with prejudgment interest and civil monetary penalties pursuant Section 20(d) of the Securities Act.

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