Appeals Panel to Review Bid to Return Bank of America Deal to State Court

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) persuaded a federal appeals court to review its request to return an $8.5 billion bond settlement with Bank of America Corp. to state court from federal court for a judge’s approval.

The Manhattan-based U.S. Court of Appeals in New York today granted the petition for expedited review. BlackRock Inc. (BLK) had also asked the court to reverse U.S. District Judge William Pauley’s ruling in October keeping the accord in federal court for review, rather than remanding it to New York State Supreme Court.

The proposed agreement, first filed in New York state court, would settle claims from investors in the mortgage bonds of Countrywide Financial Corp., which Charlotte, North Carolina- based Bank of America (BAC) bought in 2008. The deal was reached with an institutional investor group that includes BlackRock and Pacific Investment Management Co. and would apply to 530 mortgage-securitization trusts.

“Delay in the resolution of this appeal will prejudice the institutional investors and other beneficiaries of the trusts,” New York-based BlackRock said in papers filed with the appeals court on Nov. 1.

Bank of New York, the trustee for the mortgage-bond trusts, filed the settlement in state court and planned to seek approval at a November hearing. Under the state proceeding, approval would bind investors outside the group that negotiated the agreement.

An investor group, Walnut Place LLC and related entities, moved the case to federal court and is fighting a bid by Bank of New York to return it to state court.

The case is Bank of New York Mellon v. Walnut Place LLC, 11-4554, 11-4571, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Hurtado in New York at pathurtado@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net

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