In re RFC & Rescap Liquidating Trust Action

Decision Date15 August 2018
Docket NumberCase No. 13-cv-3351 (SRN/HB)
Citation332 F.Supp.3d 1101
Parties IN RE: RFC AND RESCAP LIQUIDATING TRUST ACTION
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Minnesota
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ON COMMON-ISSUE MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, United States District Judge

Table of Contents

I. Introduction...1116

II. Background...1117

E. Procedural History...1126

III. Discussion...1127

A. Standard of Review...1127
E. Cross Motions for Summary Judgment...1132
1. Misconduct Defense against Indemnification...1132
2. Whether Plaintiffs Can Recover Losses and Liabilities Incurred from "Expired" Loans...1137
3. Recovery for Claims Released in Bankruptcy...1141
4. Sampling...1145
G. Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment...1186
1. Statute of Limitations for Loans Sold Before May 14, 2006...1186
2. Whether RFC's Expert Opinions Foreclose Relief...1191
3. Plaintiffs' Damages Models...1191
a. Breaching Loss Approach...1192
i. Whether RFC May Recover Repurchase Damages under Section A210...1192
ii. Whether RFC May Recover Repurchase Damages under the Indemnification Provisions in Section A212...1195
iii. Analysis...1197
b. Allocated Breaching Loss Approach...1198
i. Whether the Allocated Breaching Loss Approach Offers Non-Speculative Bases to Allocate the Trust Settlement...1199
(1) Allocation under UnitedHealth ...1199
(2) Defendants' Criticisms of the Methodology of the Allocated Breaching Loss Approach...1200
ii. Analysis...1203
c. Allocated Loss Approach...1204
i. Whether the Allocated Loss Approach Offers Non-Speculative Bases to Allocate the Settlements...1204
ii. Analysis...1205

IV. Conclusion...1205

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court are the parties' cross motions for summary judgment on common issues in the first-wave actions.1 On June 19 and 20, 2018, the Court heard oral argument on the parties' motions. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment on Common Issues [Doc. No. 3241] is granted in part, denied in part, and denied without prejudice in part, and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on Common Issues [Doc. No. 3247] is granted in part and denied in part.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Securitization

The majority of U.S. mortgages are financed through the securitization process. Adam J. Levitin & Susan M. Wachter, Explaining the Housing Bubble , 100 GEO. L.J. 1177, 1182, 1187 (2012). "Securitization" involves pooling large numbers of housing loans, then selling them to a trust. Baker v. CitiMortgage, Inc. , No. 17-cv-2271 (SRN/KMM), 2017 WL 6886712, at *4 (D. Minn. Dec. 21, 2017) (citing Fla. State Bd. of Admin. v. Green Tree Fin. Corp. , 270 F.3d 645, 648 (8th Cir. 2001) ). A mortgage lender raises funds for new mortgages through this process. Id. (citing BlackRock Fin. Mgmt. Inc. v. Segregated Account of Ambac Assur. Corp., 673 F.3d 169, 173 (2d Cir. 2012) ). The trust pays for the loans by issuing securities for which the loans serve as collateral. Id. "The right to receive trust income is parceled into certificates and sold to investors, called certificateholders." Id. Purchasers of the securities often require that they be insured by monoline insurers as a hedge against investment risk. In re Barclays Bank PLC Securities Litig. , No. 09 Civ. 1989 (PAC), 2017 WL 4082305, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 13, 2017), appeal docketed , No. 17-3293 (2d Cir. Oct. 16, 2017).

B. Historical Background

In the early- to mid-2000s, a rise in home prices in the U.S. was "driven by increased demand, low interest rates, and easy credit access." Id. While an initial mortgage refinancing boom from 2001 to 2003 led to increased earnings for mortgage originators and securitizers, when long-term interest rates began to rise, the mortgage industry sought other ways to maintain origination volumes. Levitin & Wachter, supra, at 1193–94). The solution required industry players "to find more product to move in order to maintain origination volumes and, hence, earnings." Id. at 1194.

A second mortgage boom ensued after 2003, but "[b]ecause the prime borrowing pool was exhausted, it was necessary to lower underwriting standards and look more to marginal borrowers to support origination volume levels." Id. During this time period, "[l]enders provided mortgage loans to many high-risk borrowers with questionable ability to repay, fueled in large part by the opportunity to package and sell those mortgages into the growing market for [residential] mortgage-backed securities ("[R]MBSs")." In re Barclays Bank, 2017 WL 4082305, at *4.

In the mid-2000s, the "explosion in the market for [RMBS]" resulted in a securitization market frenzy. Fed. Hous. Fin. Agency for Fed. Nat'l Mortgage Ass'n v. Nomura Holding Am., Inc. , 873 F.3d 85, 96 (2d Cir. 2017) (citing Levitin & Wachter, supra , at 1192–202). It was not to last. Among other things, housing prices fell and

[l]ate 2006 and 2007 saw a dramatic rise in mortgage loan defaults, causing the value of the related securities, whose income depended on borrower payments, to deteriorate. Banks and other investors began to experience substantial losses; and many monoline insurers could not accommodate such loss, given its quick pace and dramatic size.

In re Barclays Bank, 2017 WL 4082305, at *4. The global economy experienced an unprecedented downturn in 2008 "that had a profoundly negative effect on the real estate and credit markets." S.E.C. v. True North Fin. Corp. , 909 F.Supp.2d 1073, 1083 (D. Minn. 2012) (citations omitted).

C. The Client Contract and the Client Guide

Plaintiffs2 and Defendants here were all participants in the RMBS market frenzy and its ultimate collapse. Prior to RFC's May 2012 bankruptcy, it served as a middleman in the RMBS industry, both acquiring and securitizing residential mortgage loans. First, RFC purchased residential mortgage loans from numerous originating financial lenders,3 including Defendants Home Loan Center, Inc., CTX Mortgage Co., LLC, Standard Pacific Mortgage, Inc., Impac Funding Corp., iServe Residential Lending, LLC, and Freedom Mortgage Corporation (collectively, "Defendants"), and bundled them into securitization pools of thousands of loans. (See Decl. of Matthew R. Scheck ("Scheck Decl.") [Doc. No. 3258], Ex. 10 (Horst Dep. at 620–23); id. , Ex. 36 (Ruckdaschel Dep. at 40–41); id. , Ex. 19 (Corr. Hawthorne Rpt. ¶ 17).)4 RFC did not underwrite the loans; rather, it understood that the originating lenders "[were] responsible for ... underwriting prudently [and] ensuring that the loan met all of [RFC's contractual and underwriting] requirements ...." (Id. , Ex. 10 (Horst Dep. at 620–21).)

Second, in its middleman role, RFC then sold the pooled loans into residential mortgage-backed securitization ("RMBS") trusts ("the Trusts"). (See id. , Ex. 19 (Corr. Hawthorne Rpt. ¶ 17).) In the contracts that governed the relationships between RFC and the Trusts, RFC made representations and warranties ("R & Ws") concerning the underwriting quality and credit characteristics of the mortgage loans. (Id. ) The Trusts issued notes or certificates, supported by the loans' performance, which investors purchased. (Id. ) RFC additionally functioned as a "master servicer" for many of the securitizations, overseeing the work of the primary servicers. (Id. ¶ 18.)

While both parts of RFC's business model are factually relevant in this consolidated action, the legal focus of this litigation concerns Defendants' potential liability at the first step of selling residential mortgage loans to RFC. To sell their loans, Defendants each separately entered into a "Client Contract" with RFC. (Decl. of Deanna Horst ("Horst Decl.") [Doc. No. 3244], Exs. 2–9 (Defs.' Client Contracts).) Along with the Client Contract, a longer, more detailed document called "the Client Guide" governed the business relationship between RFC and Defendants.5 (Id., Ex. 1 (Client Guide § 100, Version 1-06-G01, Effective Mar. 13, 2006).)6 The Client Guide "set[ ] forth the terms and conditions for selling Loans to [ ]RFC." (Id. ) Specifically, it provided that the originating lender, or "Client," was "bound by all provisions" of the Client Guide, "including but not limited to the [R & Ws] of Client and Remedies of [ ]RFC Sections of this Client Guide [sic ]." (Id. § 101.)

The contractual language most relevant to the parties' summary judgment motions—and discussed in further detail throughout this opinion—is found in Sections 113(A) & (B), A200, A202, A208, A209, A210, and A212 of the Client...

To continue reading

Request your trial
22 cases
  • ResCap Liquidating Trust v. Primary Residential Mortg., Inc. (In re ResCap Liquidating Trust Litig.)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Minnesota
    • December 20, 2019
    ...In its role as a buyer, it purchased mortgages from banks and originating lenders such as PRMI. See In re ResCap Liquidating Tr. Litig. , 332 F. Supp. 3d 1101, 1117–18 (D. Minn. 2018) (" Common SJ Order "); (Smallwood Decl. [Doc. No. 5225], Ex. 1 (Hawthorne Rpt. ¶¶ 17–18).)3 Then, as a sell......
  • Drennen v. Certain Underwriters At Lloyds of London (In re Residential Capital, LLC)
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Southern District of New York
    • December 21, 2022
    ...Guide requires Defendants [MBS loan originators] to indemnify Plaintiffs for the Allowed Claims set out in the Plan." 332 F.Supp.3d 1101, 1158-59 (D. Minn. 2018). course, a case in the District of Minnesota is not binding on this Court, and even if it were, the case is not on all fours with......
  • Rescap Liquidating Trust v. Home Loan Ctr., Inc. (In re RFC & Rescap Liquidating Trust Action), Case No. 13-cv-3451 (SRN/HB)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Minnesota
    • June 12, 2019
    ...suit in numerous orders and opinions, most notably in its 182-page summary judgment opinion. See In re ResCap Liquidating Trust Action , 332 F. Supp. 3d 1101 (D. Minn. 2018). Accordingly, the Court will not revisit the many, and varied, legal issues that have arisen over the course of this ......
  • Emc Mortg. LLC v. Pulte Mortg. LLC, Civil Action No. 19-cv-1574-WJM-NYW
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • February 20, 2020
    ...880 (Sup. Ct. 2011) ; In re Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. , 530 B.R. 601 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2015) ; In re RFC and RESCAP Liquidating Tr. Action , 332 F. Supp. 3d 1101, 1190 (D. Minn. 2018).Moreover, in GreenPoint , a Second Circuit case with facts very similar to those of the instant case, the p......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT