Baupost Blocking $8.5B BofA Mortgage Settlement

Dec 12 2011 | 12:52pm ET

Baupost Group and Bank of America agree on at least one thing: The hedge fund is doing its level best to sink the bank's proposed $8.5 billion mortgage bond settlement.

At a court hearing last week, a lawyer for Bank of America said that Walnut Place, the group seeking to block the settlement and remove the case to federal court, is actually Baupost, "known as a distressed debt or sometimes a vulture fund." On Friday, Baupost told its clients that it was, in fact, Walnut Place.

Baupost, or its Walnut Place alter-ego, is opposing the deal, which would resolve most of BofA's legal headaches from its 2008 purchases of Countrywide Financial Corp. More than 20 institutional investors have signed up to the settlement, seeking to impose it on other investors.

But Baupost doesn't plan on going so easily.

The Boston-based hedge fund did deny a rumor that it was shorting BofA, telling investors "we currently have no long or short position in equity, corporate debt or credit default swaps of Bank of America."

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