McKool Smith secured a summary judgment win in a novel case that may have far-reaching consequences for thousands of RMBS trusts collectively containing hundreds of billions of dollars of residential mortgages that were securitized in the early 2000s.
The case, heard in Superior Court of California, involved several residential mortgage-backed securities trusts held by Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. Per the provisions of the trust, the mortgage servicer PHH Mortgage Corp. announced its intentions to exercise its “clean-up call” rights, which allow it to purchase the trusts’ assets at a contractually defined price.
At issue was whether $75 million of deferred principal payments owed by mortgage holders who took advantage of home loan modification programs in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis should be factored into the price. In a first-of-its-kind ruling, the judge ruled that the price paid to investors, including McKool Smith’s clients NAV LLC and Stephen Finkelstein, should take into account the value of those deferred payments.
“This ruling is a victory not only for our clients, but for countless RMBS investors,” said McKool Smith Principal Courtney Statfeld, who led the trial team. “Thousands of RMBS trusts containing mortgages with deferred payments are reaching the point where clean-up call rights are about to be exercised. This ruling sets the stage for fair compensation for investors in future clean-up calls. Investors should carefully review past clean-up calls to ensure they were paid the price the contract required.”
With 130 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. The firm has secured 13 nine-figure jury verdicts and 15 eight-figure jury verdicts, obtaining more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal “Top 100 Verdicts” than any other law firm. These courtroom successes have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, insurance recovery, and white collar defense matters.