| NEW YORK, March 27
NEW YORK, March 27 A proposed class action by a
Detroit pension fund accusing Goldman Sachs of misleading
investors about mortgage-backed securities can go forward, a
federal judge has ruled.
Filed in 2010 by Detroit's police and fire retirement
system, the lawsuit accused Goldman of misrepresenting the
standards used to qualify borrowers for mortgage loans that were
pooled into securities and bought by the fund.
The lawsuit is one of thousands filed against Goldman and
other banks over mortgage securities that collapsed in value in
the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally declined comment.
According to court documents, the pension fund purchased
about $1.8 million of the securities from a mortgage loan trust
created by Goldman in 2007. Goldman issued over $790 million of
securities through the trust, the documents said.
Offering documents for the securities said lenders reviewed
whether borrowers would be able to meet their monthly payments,
when in reality mortgages were issued without regard to
borrowers' ability to pay, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also said that lenders inflated borrowers'
incomes and that appraisers submitted falsely inflated property
In a ruling on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Miriam
Cedarbaum said that the offering documents were "affirmatively
misleading" and denied Goldman's bid to have the lawsuit
Goldman had argued that the underwriting policies were only
guidelines and lenders had the discretion to deviate from them.
However, Cedarbaum ruled that exceptions to underwriting
standards were not the same as a wholesale abandonment of them.
The case is Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of
Detroit et al v Goldman Sachs & Co et al, U.S. District Court,
Southern District of New York, No 10-cv-4429
(Editing by Stephen Coates)