First FHFA Case to Be Tried Next Year, U.S. Judge Says

The first of 16 suits by the Federal Housing Finance Agency against banks over mortgage-backed securities will be tried in New York next year, with the rest to follow in 2014, a federal judge said.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote set out a proposed schedule for the trials in a court conference with more than two dozen lawyers in Manhattan today. Under Cote’s plan, UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, would be first to defend claims it misled Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) about the quality of mortgage loans underlying securities bought by the two agencies.

The FHFA sued 17 banks including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Citigroup Inc. (C), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Deutsche Bank AG. (DBK) Most of the suits were filed in Manhattan federal court in September or moved to the court later. The UBS suit was filed in July. Sixteen cases have been assigned to Judge Cote.

The judge proposed trying the UBS case first, as early as September 2013, with the other 15 cases scheduled for 2014. Cote set a court conference next month to finalize scheduling matters in the cases.

The UBS case is Federal Housing Finance Agency v. UBS Americas Inc., 11-cv-5201, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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