The class action was originally filed in the Orange County Superior Court and removed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on December 31, 2008.
The complaint charges Morgan Stanley Capital and certain of its officers and directors, the issuers and underwriters of the Certificates and the rating agencies that rated the Certificates with violations of the Securities Act of 1933. Morgan Stanley Capital is engaged in the securitization of loans and the business of acting as depositor of trusts that issue series of certificates that represent interests in the assets of the trust.
The complaint alleges that on December 23, 2005 (with amendments on February 17, 2006 and March 14, 2006), Morgan Stanley Capital and the defendant issuers caused the Registration Statement to be filed with the SEC in connection with the issuance of billions of dollars of Certificates. The Certificates were supported by large pools of mortgage loans. The Registration Statement discussed the underwriting standards purportedly used in connection with the underwriting of the underlying mortgage loans and included numerous representations about the loan-to-value ratios used to qualify borrowers, the appraisals of properties underlying the mortgages and the maximum debt-to-income ratios permitted on the mortgage loans.
According to the complaint, the Registration Statement omitted and/or misrepresented the fact that the sellers of the underlying mortgages to Morgan Stanley Capital were issuing many of the mortgage loans to borrowers who: (i) did not meet the prudent or maximum debt-to-income ratio purportedly required by the lender; (ii) did not provide adequate documentation to support the income and assets required for the lenders to approve and fund the mortgage loans pursuant to the lenders’ own guidelines; (iii) were steered to stated income/asset and low documentation mortgage loans by lenders, lenders’ correspondents or lenders’ agents, such as mortgage brokers, because the borrowers could not qualify for mortgage loans that required full documentation; and (iv) did not have the income required by the lenders’ own guidelines to afford the required mortgage payments which resulted in a mismatch between the amount loaned to the borrower and the capacity of the borrower.
On January 30, 2009, the plaintiffs moved to remand to case back to the Orange County Superior Court filed, but the defendants moved to transfer the case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. On March 6, 2009, Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer granted the motion to transfer the case to the Southern District of New York.
On July 17, 2009, Judge Laura Taylor Swain issued the order consolidating two related class actions under In re Morgan Stanley Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Litigation, Master File No. 09 Civ. 2137 (LTS)(MHD). Judge Swain also approved the West Virginia Investment Management Board as lead plaintiff and Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP as lead counsel. On September 15, 2009, the lead plaintiff filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint.
On November 12, 2009, the defendants filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal. According to the Notice, the action is voluntarily dismissed, without prejudice against the various named Morgan Stanley Mortgage Loan Trust defendants. On November 16, 2009, the remaining defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Consolidated Amended Complaint.
According to the Memorandum Opinion and Order signed on August 17, 2010, the defendant’s motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part. The plaintiffs have been granted leave to file an amended complaint.
On September 10, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint. The defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss on October 11, 2010.
On October 20, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a Motion for Entry of Judgment under Rule 54(b). The motion was denied on November 22, 2010.
According to Opinion and Order #100782, Defendants' motion to dismiss the SAC pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is granted with respect to Plaintiffs' failure to allege sufficiently compliance with the timing requirements of section 13 and Plaintiffs' rating-related allegations, and is denied in all other respects. Plaintiffs' request for leave to replead is granted as to the sufficiency of their allegations with respect to compliance with the Section 13 timing requirements and as to their rating-related allegations. Any further amended complaint must be filed by September 30, 2011. Failure to file timely a further amended complaint will result in the dismissal of this action with prejudice, and without further advance noticed to Plaintiffs. This memorandum opinion and order resolves docket entry no. 88.
On September 27, 2011, the plaintiff filed a notice voluntarily dismissing the action without prejudice. On September 30, 2011, the plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint. On October 17, 2011, the defendants filed motions to dimiss.
On July 16, 2012, the Court issued an Order denying Defendants' motion to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint.
On January 11, 2013, the Court issued an Order denying Defendants' motion to stay this action, but granting the Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration and leave to amend the Third Amended Complaint. On January 31, Plaintiff filed the Fourth Amended Complaint.
On May 27, 2014, the Court issued an Order granting Defendants' motion for reconsideration and thus dismissing Plaintiffs' claims as timed-barred by the Section 13 statute of repose. This dismissal was without prejudice.
On September 8, 2014, the parties entered into a Settlement Agreement. This Settlement was preliminarily approved by the Court 2 days later. On December 19, the Court issued an Order and Final Judgment granting final approval of the Settlement.