CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CN) - Bank of America claims mortgage insurers owe it more than $535 million for losses it suffered when the housing bubble burst. BofA, which bought the poster boy of the subprime lending fiasco, Countrywide Financial, 2 years ago, says title insurers unfairly refuse to cover busted mortgage loans that originated before the financial meltdown.
Bank of America, one of America's largest mortgage lenders and the recipient of more than $45 billion in TARP funds from the federal government, claims that United General Title Insurance and First American Title Insurance, now corporate affiliates, insured mortgages for title defects, undisclosed intervening liens and other problems, and to cover equity loans and lines of credit up to $500,000.
Now the insurers are balking at paying the claims, blaming Bank of America and the firms it acquired prior to the global economic crisis for creating their own problems, BofA says in Mecklenburg County Court.
As of February the two insurers have denied at least 2,200 of Bank of America's claims, representing more than $235 million in losses, and failed to respond to another 2,300 claims, representing more than $300 million in losses, BofA says.
All of the claims arise from a home equity loan or line of credit that is in default, the bank says.
BofA demands coverage of its losses, plus compensatory and punitive damages for breach of contract and bad faith.
BofA is also a plaintiff in a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Countrywide Home Loans, demanding $111 million from Triad Guaranty Insurance.
In that complaint, Countrywide and BofA claim Triad is wrongly trying to rescind coverage for high-risk practices that it encouraged.
BofA is represented by Davis Halvreich with Reed Smith in the North Carolina case.
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