The Knights of Columbus late Tuesday said in a press release that it has expanded a case against the Bank of New York as trustee for 18 RMBS trusts originally issued by Countrywide with additional claims of breach of contract, among other things.

A Bank of New York spokesman told this publication Tuesday evening, “We are confident we have fulfilled our responsibilities as trustee. The suit is without merit and we will defend ourselves in court.”

Tal Franklin, an attorney who represents the Knights, told this publication he could not comment beyond the press release and other documents he supplied.

According to the press release, additional claims by the Knights include breach of fiduciary duty, gross negligence, recklessness and unfair trade practices.

The Knights indicate the case escalated from a “non-adversarial action” in part because, when it requested accounting for losses to borrowers and investors based on the conduct of the servicer and for Bank of New York to demonstrate it did not participate in any wrongdoing, the trustee did not provide the information.

The Knights said the case also escalated in part due to Bank of New York's decision to settle claims related to legal actions the Knights were taking without consulting them or determining the value of the Knights' claims.

Adding to this is what the Knights said was related “evidence” in a study of foreclosure actions in two New York counties and an investigation of, as well as objection to, the aforementioned settlement by the New York state attorney general.

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