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FHFA wins key sampling ruling in cases against banks

Dec 04 2012 Reuters

A U.S. judge on Monday ruled in favor of a federal regulator wishing to use statistical sampling in its lawsuits against big banks including Credit Suisse Group AG and Bank of America Corp over allegations they misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into purchasing billions of dollars of risky mortgage debt. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan federal court denied a motion from defendants in 15 consolidated lawsuits to strike the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s proposed methodology for sampling and evaluating the more than 1.1 million mortgage loans at issue in the cases. The FHFA, which regulates Fannie and Freddie, last year sued 18 banks over the housing finance giants' losses on more than $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities. The lawsuits accuse the banks of misrepresenting the quality of the loans underlying the securities and violating U.S. securities laws. The banks have denied the regulator's allegations and argued they should be dismissed. Among the arguments

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