February 13, 2015 / 11:49 PM / in 3 years

Citigroup, Goldman, UBS in $235 million mortgage settlement

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and UBS AG UBSN.S agreed to pay $235 million in cash to settle U.S. litigation accusing them of concealing the risks of mortgage securities sold by the former Residential Capital LLC before the global financial crisis.

The Goldman Sachs logo is displayed on a post above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, September 11, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The preliminary settlement with investors who bought the securities was made public on Friday in filings with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and requires court approval.

It is separate from a $100 million accord that investors reached in 2013 with ResCap entities and individuals. That accord has won court approval.

In court papers, lawyers for the investors said the $335 million recovery equals 3.05 percent of the face value of the securities at issue, “representing one of the highest recoveries among all mortgage-backed securities class actions.”

Led by the New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund, the investors accused the banks of misleading them in registration statements and prospectuses about the quality of mortgage loans backing the securities they helped underwrite in 2006 and 2007.

The banks denied wrongdoing, but agreed to settle to eliminate the burden and cost of litigation, court papers show. It was not immediately clear how much each bank will pay.

Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos declined to comment. Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally declined to elaborate on the settlement. UBS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Residential Capital was once part of GMAC, and later Ally Financial Inc (ALLY.N). Ally put ResCap into bankruptcy in May 2012 to address soaring mortgage liabilities.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, which represents the lead plaintiff, plans to seek legal fees of as much as $69.5 million, or 20.75 percent of the total recovery, plus up to $5.5 million for expenses, court papers show.

The case is New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund et al v. Residential Capital LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-08781.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Chris Reese

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