December 06, 2013

Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System Led Landmark Securities Litigation

On December 6, 2013, a federal court granted approval of a $500 million settlement agreement between investors and Countrywide Financial Corps and others. The landmark mortgage-backed securities (MBS) class action was led by the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS), represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

In granting approval of the nation’s largest MBS class action settlement, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, brought to a close the consolidated class action lawsuit filed in 2010 by multiple retirement funds against Countrywide and other defendants for securities violations involving the packaging and sale of Countrywide MBS.  Bank of America acquired Countrywide in 2008. 

“We are delighted to have secured the nation’s largest MBS class action settlement on behalf of Countrywide investors,” said Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel Steven J. Toll of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

The case involved allegations that the Plaintiffs and other investors were sold billions of dollars worth of MBS certificates backed primarily with defective Countrywide-originated home loans. By late 2008, virtually all of those certificates were downgraded to junk bond status.

Class representatives from the Maine State litigation that were involved in the 429 Countrywide-sponsored offering settlement include the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS), which was appointed lead plaintiff by the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, in May 2010; as well as the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund; the Orange County Employees’ Retirement System; and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church.

In addition to Toll, counsel for the Plaintiffs in Maine State Retirement System et al., v. Countrywide Financial Corp. et al., includes Julie Goldsmith Reiser of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.  Included also in the settlement are the David H. Luther v. Countrywide Financial Corp, et., al., and Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund v. Countrywide Financial Corp. et. al. actions.

For more information about the case, click here.