Freddie Mac says Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp.'s bid to investigate it represents "an extreme invasion" into its operations and is urging a bankruptcy court to deny the request.
Taylor Bean, which sold and serviced many of the mortgages that Freddie Mac owns, wants to pore over thousands of pages of documents and depose about a dozen Freddie Mac officials. According to the collapsed mortgage lender, its request is critical to its ability to draft a creditor-payment plan.
But Freddie Mac is taking issue with the scope of Taylor Bean's request, which the government-sponsored enterprise says is so extensive and "extraordinarily burdensome" that it would take between 120 and 180 days to supply the documents at a cost of more than $2 million.
Not only does Freddie Mac say that Taylor Bean has many of the requested documents and records in its possession, but it also accused Taylor Bean of violating bankruptcy laws by aiming to investigate its private business affairs.
Freddie Mac specifically pointed to Taylor Bean's aim to acquire its internal audits and reviews of the lender and subsidiary Ocala Funding LLC, both of which sold mortgages to Freddie Mac.
Taylor Bean's "incredibly broad and burdensome request for production, of essentially all of Freddie Mac's internal analyses of [Taylor Bean's] and Ocala's performance, is an extreme invasion into Freddie Mac's strategic, internal business procedures," Freddie Mac said in court papers. The request "effectively constitutes an impermissible 'wholesale investigation' of Freddie Mac's business affairs."
Freddie Mac added that its confidential opinions about Taylor Bean's and Ocala's performance are not relevant to Taylor Bean's stated goal of ascertaining its assets and liabilities, including the ownership of various mortgages, so it can draft a creditor-payment plan.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Jacksonville, Fla., will consider Taylor Bean's proposed investigation at a hearing Wednesday.
Taylor Bean was the largest independent mortgage lender in the U.S. until it shut down its lending operations last August, when the Federal Housing Administration took away the lender's right to make FHA-insured loans amid reports of massive fraud at Taylor Bean. Several weeks later, Taylor Bean filed for bankruptcy protection.
Taylor Bean's Ocala subsidiary is currently at the center of a legal battle, with Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA suing Bank of America Corp. for allegedly failing to protect more than $1.25 billion in cash and mortgage loans that it was obligated to secure on Deutsche Bank's behalf. Bank of America has denied responsibility and is seeking the lawsuit's dismissal.