Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bank attorneys prep for RMBS working group showdowns

The public may doubt the sincerity of the latest wide-scale investigation into the malfunctions that sparked the financial crisis, but bank attorneys are not so dismissive.

The Obama administration launched the residential mortgage-backed securities working group in January with much grandeur and a prompt set of 11 subpoenas, which has now grown to 25. The group of federal regulators, the Justice Department and the FBI are looking into every step of the mortgage finance chain from origination, securitization and investor disclosures, according to key industry attorneys.

Promises of swift action proved premature. But it appears the group is finally beginning to ramp up with large meetings scheduled at the end of May, a new website for whistleblowers and a coordinating team.

"It's not that they forgot about this," said Laurence Platt, who is leading the industry's response team from his law firm K&L Gates. "There's a lot of information gathering going on right now. We shouldn't take a lack of headlines as they're not pursuing this or that. With these securitizations there's a lot of things to get your hands around. They're trying to figure out what was going on what was happening."

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