According to a law firm press release, on December 7, 2007 a class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of HomeBanc Corp. ("HomeBanc" or the "Company") (PINKSHEETS: HMBNP) between March 7, 2006 and August 3, 2007, inclusive (the "Class Period"), including those investors who purchased the Company's 10% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock pursuant or traceable to HomeBanc's February 2, 2006 offering in which the Company sold 2 million shares of Series A Preferred Stock for $25.00 per share.
Specifically, the lawsuit claims that HomeBanc, founder and former Chief Executive Officer, and other executives and directors of the Company violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Sections 11, 12(a) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that prior to the Offering and during the Class Period, Defendants issued false and misleading statements touting the Company's positive financial results and future business prospects, and withheld from investors material adverse information indicating that the internal business environment, structure and policies at HomeBanc were in a severe state of deterioration.
In addition, the lawsuit claims Defendants manipulated the Company's financial results prior to the Offering in an effort to increase demand for the Company's Series A Preferred Stock and entice investors to purchase the Company's common stock.
In marked contrast to the Company's positive statements prior to the Offering, HomeBanc issued a press release on November 6, 2006 announcing substantial losses for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2006 -- the second quarter following the Offering. Over the course of the next thirteen months, HomeBanc would release increasingly adverse financial results, culminating in the August 3, 2007 suspension of the listing of the Company's common stock and Series A Preferred Stock on the NYSE.
Finally, on August 7, 2007, HomeBanc announced that it was unable to satisfy its mortgage loan funding obligations, and on August 9, 2007, HomeBanc filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Less than a year-and-a-half after the Company's Offering in which it obtained $50 million from unknowing investors, HomeBanc was bankrupt and the Company's shares were worthless.
NOTE: The company that is now associated with this case is Homebanc Mortgage Corporation, which has no relationship Homebanc Corporation.
A similar, purported class action complaint has also been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. On April 4, 2008, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Judge William P. Dimitrouleas granted the motion to transfer the case to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
On April 2, 2009, Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. signed the Consolidation Order establishing "In re HomeBanc Corporation Securities Litigation" File No. 1:08-CV-1461 as the Master File. On May 26, 2009, the Court entered the Order granting William Kornfeld, Jr.'s motion to be appointed lead plaintiff and approved his selection of the firms Kahn Gauthier Swick, LLC and Brower Piven, P.C. as lead counsel and Mager & Goldstein LLP as liaison counsel for the class. On August 5, 2009, the lead plaintiff filed a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint only naming as defendants two of HomeBanc’s officers. The complaint also brings the action only in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. On October 5, 2009, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint.
According to an article dated April 28, 2010, a federal judge has thrown out a potential class action against two former executives of now defunct HomeBanc Mortgage Corp. whom plaintiffs accused of luring investors with false claims about the company's financial health. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. ruled the plaintiffs could not corroborate statements made by confidential witnesses in their case against former chief executive officers... Batten also found that the plaintiffs' claim that HomeBanc management deliberately misled investors by drawing a falsely rosy financial picture of the company's overall financial health was unfounded. Instead, the company's financial reports contained sufficient warnings about the potential risks of investing with the company, Batten stated. "At most the complaint tells a narrative of [the] defendants' unsound business strategy," wrote Batten in his April 13 order. "It does not allege facts sufficient to support a cogent and compelling inference of fraud."
On May 10, 2010, the plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal from the order on the motion to dismiss. On August 9, 2011, the Court entered the Order from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the District Court.