Housing regulator, Barclays settle for $280 million

McClatchy Washington BureauApril 24, 2014 

— The Federal Housing Finance Agency and Britain’s Barclays Bank PLC announced a $280 million settlement Thursday in a lawsuit about bad mortgage bonds sold by the bank in the run up to the housing-market collapse.

Barclays agreed to pay $227 million to Freddie Mac and another $53 million to Fannie Mae for violations of securities laws over a period of 2005 to 2007. The bank committed the alleged violations during the sale to those quasi-government entities of mortgage-backed securities.

The FHFA is the government conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were seized by the Bush administration as the financial crisis gathered steam in summer of 2008. The agency filed 18 lawsuits in 2011 tied to the sale to those entities of what are called private-label mortgage bonds. The settlement with Barclays is the 13th of the 18 suits, the FHFA said in a statement.

The settlement document provided little information about the wrongdoing, but the agency had gone after not only the bank but three executives _ Michael Wade, John Carroll and Paul Menefee. They were all involved in the bundling of mortgages into complex bonds, a process called securitization, and their names were on filings to the SEC about the complex securities that the housing regulator said knowingly contained false information.

Email: khall@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @KevinGHall.

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