Merrill Lynch, a unit of Bank of America Corp. (BAC) is now the defendant of a class action securities fraud lawsuit filed on behalf of at least 1,800 investors. A federal judge certified the class status, which involves all investors in mortgage-backed securities that were sold beginning February 2006 through September 2007.
The named plaintiffs of the MBS lawsuit are the Connecticut Carpenters Annuity Fund, the Wyoming state treasurer, Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund, and the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association. The investors are accusing Merrill of misleading them in the offering documents for $16.5 billion of certificates.
While including yourself as a class action plaintiff may seem like an easy way to recoup your losses, Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP founder and stockbroker fraud attorney William Shepherd says, “On average, victims with securities class action claims usually get back a net recovery of about 8% of their losses.” Such claims often face numerous obstacles. Also, only federal securities claims can be brought in class action cases, and these can be challenging to prove. “Some securities class action complaints end up settled but with the terms favoring the defendants and with large fees going to the investors’/victims’ attorneys,” notes Shepherd. Many consider the investor class the losers when such a case is concluded. ** It is important, however, to note that our securities fraud law firm has no information at this time to suggest that this is going to be the result in this matter.
One alternative you should explore is filing your own, individual claim. While many securities class action cases have very short “opt out” dates, if you “opt out” of the class in a timely manner, you can file an individual case ( claims under state law are often easier to prove). Our securities fraud law firm has represented many investors who have done both.
Merrill Must Face Class Action Over Mortgage Securities, Bloomberg, June 20, 2011
More Blog Posts:
Ambac Financial Group, Insurers, and Bank Underwriters to Pay $33M to Settle Securities Lawsuits Alleging Concealed Risks Related to its Bond-Insurance Business, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 18, 2011
Number of Securities Class Action Settlements Reached in 2010 Hit Lowest Level in a Decade, Says Report, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 31, 2011
Class Action Plaintiffs Dispute Bank of America’s $137M Settlement with State Attorney Generals Over Municipal Derivatives, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, December 31, 2010
Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP today to request your free case evaluation.