Edvard Pettersson, Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp.’s Countrywide Financial unit must face securities fraud claims by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which sued for damages as the conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer in Los Angeles, in a March 15 decision, denied Countrywide’s request to dismiss the FHFA’s claims. Countrywide claimed that the agency failed to provide sufficient factual information that the offering documents for residential mortgage-backed securities contained misrepresentations.

“The amended complaint alleges that Countrywide expanded its underwriting guidelines through the ‘matching strategy,’ but did not disclose that information to investors,” Pfaelzer said. “The mere expansion of underwriting guidelines does not support a claim under the securities laws, but failing to disclose that expansion to investors constitutes a viable misstatement.”

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