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FHFA Paid Plaintiffs' Firms $373.5M to Sue Banks

July 16, 2015 | Posted in : Legal Bills / Legal Costs, Legal Spend

A recent Reuters story, “U.S. Housing Regulator Paid Law Firms $373 Million to Sue Banks,” reports that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) disclosed that it paid two law firms over $373.5 million since 2010 to pursue litigation against several banks over mortgage-back securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the financial crisis.

The FHFA, which has acted as conservator for Fannie and Freddie since the government took them over in 2008, disclosed the figures in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Reuters.

The nearly $373.5 million amounted to less than 2 percent of the $18.7 billion obtained by the U.S. regulator through settlements and judgments against 16 banks, including $806 million after it took Nomura Holdings Inc to trial.

The disclosure marked the first time the FHFA had said how much it had paid Quinn Emanuel and Kasowitz Benson.  The FHFA did not break down how much each firm earned.  Emanuel handled 14 lawsuits, while Kasowitz Benson handled four.