JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMC Mortgage, facing homeowner lawsuits over foreclosures, was sued by the trustee of a mortgage portfolio for refusing to turn over documents detailing the quality of loans bought by the trust.
Wells Fargo & Co., the trustee, is seeking access to files for more than 2,000 underlying mortgages in the Bear Stearns Mortgage Funding Trust 2007-AR2, according to the complaint filed today in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington.
“The trustee has repeatedly requested that EMC provide access to the subject documents,” Wells Fargo said in the complaint. “EMC has played proverbial ‘rope a dope’ and otherwise continued to drag its feet, and has produced nothing.”
Claims of wrongdoing by banks and loan servicers triggered a 50-state investigation last year into whether hundreds of thousands of foreclosures were properly documented as the housing market collapsed. Lending practices have also pitted mortgage-bond investors against banks over misrepresentations such as overstatements of borrowers’ income and inflated appraisals.
Christine Holevas, a spokeswoman for New York-based JPMorgan, declined to comment.
Wells Fargo said it needs access to the documents to answer “serious” questions raised by investors in the trust about whether EMC breached representations and warranties regarding the quality of option-adjustable rate mortgage loans the trust bought.
Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco, began requesting the documents in January last year and reached an agreement with EMC in December on access to files for 400 loans. EMC had until Jan. 12 to produce documents on the first 100 loans, according to the complaint.
EMC failed to produce the documents “culminating more than a year of good-faith negotiations and misplaced patience by the trustee in a futile attempt to avoid litigation,” Wells Fargo said in the complaint.
The case is Bear Stearns Mortgage Funding Trust 2007-AR2 by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. as Trustee v. EMC Mortgage Corp., CA6132, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington)
© Copyright 2015 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.