NEW YORK — A state judge has ruled that Countrywide Financial must defend a fraud claim by a unit of MBIA Inc. related to the securitization of billions of dollars in home-equity lines of credit.

In an order, New York State Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten in Manhattan also ordered Bank of America to defend "successor and vicarious" liability claims, following its acquisition of Countrywide in 2008. The judge dismissed negligent misrepresentation claims against Countrywide.

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