Attorneys for Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. argued recently to a First Department panel that several of the RMBS putback claims that it was pursuing as trustee against Morgan Stanley should be revived after they were dismissed in April for being untimely.  The claims were originally commenced when the Federal Housing Finance Agency filed summonses with notice on the final day before the expiration of the statute of limitations.  However, Deutsche Bank, as trustee, subsequently filed the complaints for the claims.  The trial court threw out the claims, finding that certificate holders lacked standing to sue and that the trustee could not benefit from tolling agreements entered into by Morgan Stanley and certain other certificate holders.

At the recent argument, Deutsche Bank’s attorney argued that the certificate holders were not barred from filing the summonses with notice and that the trustee could benefit from them, because they were filed derivatively.  In addition, he argued that Deutsche Bank was a third-party beneficiary of the tolling agreements at issue because the agreements applied to representatives of the certificate holders and that Deutsche Bank, as trustee, was a representative.  Morgan Stanley’s attorney argued that “merely purporting” to file derivatively did not allow the certificate holders to sidestep contractual provisions that deprived them of standing to sue.  He also argued that Deutsche Bank’s reliance on the word “representative” in the tolling agreements was misplaced because, read in its entirety, the provision at issue did not apply to the trustee, and the trustee represents the whole group of certificate holders, not any individual one.

The panel did not render a decision at the hearing.

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