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The RMBS Working Group: Is There Life After Eric Holder?


Andrew W. Schilling

Financial institutions are asking what Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation means for the future of the U.S. Department of Justice’s financial fraud enforcement program generally, and the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group specifically.

Launched in 2012 “to investigate those responsible for misconduct contributing to the financial crisis through the pooling and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities,”[1] the RMBS Working Group was criticized early on by some members of Congress for moving too slowly or not at all.[2] But the group’s efforts have recently led to a string of historic, multibillion-dollar settlements.[3]

Does the attorney general’s exit, coming on the heels of these settlements, suggest that these investigations have run their course and that the department’s new leadership will turn the page? Notably, the enforcement chief of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission(a Working Group member) recently stated that the SEC has “completed nearly all of our financial crisis cases” and is moving on to “different areas.”[4] While only time (and the new attorney general) will tell, there is evidence to suggest that the RMBS Working Group may in fact be ramping up rather than winding down.

Originally published by Law360; reprinted with permission. 

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