Eight MBS lawsuits filed against Countrywide Financial Corp., now a subsidiary of Bank of America Corp., have been consolidated into one case in California.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation concluded yesterday that the centralization of the eight Countrywide MBS cases in the Central District of California will be convenient for the parties and witnesses involved.

The panel also limited the focus of the lawsuits to allegations related to the misrepresentations and omissions in Countrywide's MBS offerings.

Combining the separate actions will also make the litigation more just and efficient "by avoiding duplicative discovery and other pre-trial proceedings on complex common factual issues," the panel said.

The consolidation, according to the panel, will ensure that a single judge presides over these actions thus furthering consistency and preventing conflicting rulings.

This, it added, will also significantly limit the duplicative expenses in terms of judicial resources that otherwise would be needed to resolve common questions that are now pending in at least five federal district courts across the country.

As part of this decision, the trustee on many of the deals in question Bank of New York Mellon was allowed to separate and simultaneous remand the claims against it in the Northern District of Illinois. The court said that these claims are distinct from those claims made against the Countrywide defendants.

In other MBS litigation related news, Allstate has sued Goldman Sachs saying that the bank sold $123 million of fraudulent MBS to the insurance firm in 2006. For a copy of the lawsuit, please click here.

The insurance firm filed the lawsuit in New York state court against Goldman and certain of its affiliates. The complaint alleges some state law violations pertaining to RMBS.


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