Digest

Allstate sues Countrywide over investments

Time Warner Cable is resisting an increase for signal rights.
Time Warner Cable is resisting an increase for signal rights. (Jonathan Fickies)
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Allstate has sued Countrywide Financial over $700 million in toxic mortgage-backed securities that the insurer bought beginning in 2005, only to see their value decline rapidly.

Allstate maintains that beginning in 2003, Countrywide abandoned its underwriting standards and misrepresented crucial information about the underlying mortgage loans that made up the securities it sold.

The suit, filed Monday in Manhattan federal court, targets Countrywide, co-founder and longtime chief executive Angelo Mozilo, and other executives, as well as Bank of America, which bought the mortgage giant in 2008.

Charlotte-based Bank of America, the nation's largest bank, said in an e-mail, "We are still reviewing the complaint, but this unfortunately appears to be a situation where a sophisticated investor is looking for someone to blame for a downturn in the economy and losses on an investment it made." Mozilo's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

- Associated Press

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Time Warner, Sinclair locked in fee dispute

A contract dispute between Time Warner Cable and Maryland's Sinclair Broadcast Group is threatening customers from Portland, Maine, to Pensacola, Fla., with the loss of access to one of their network television stations.

Sinclair is asking Time Warner to pay more for the right to carry signals from its stations, but the cable company is resisting the increase. They face a midnight Friday deadline to reach a deal.

Sinclair, which is based in Hunt Valley, has 33 stations in 21 markets. It said Tuesday that Time Warner has not presented a counterproposal since rejecting Sinclair's most recent offer. Time Warner says it is still ready to negotiate.

- Associated Press

SECURITY

Ex-guard seeking bonus sues Va. contractor

A former security guard at Fort Campbell, Ky., is suing a security contractor in Lorton, claiming that the company induced him and others to stay on the job with the promise of a retention bonus that's never been paid.

Coastal International Security is one of the U.S. government's largest private security contractors. It provides guards to the departments of State, Homeland Security and Defense.

Kenneth Callender of Clarksville, Tenn., says Coastal breached a contract by refusing to pay a promised $1,500 retention bonus. He seeks class-action status for the lawsuit, and his lawyer said 200 private guards at Fort Campbell and hundreds more elsewhere would qualify for the class if it is certified.

A message left for a Coastal International Security spokesman was not immediately returned Tuesday. Callender sued Thursday in U.S. District Court in Paducah, Ky.

Coastal's contract to provide security at Fort Campbell and other posts ended in September, when government employees replaced the private guards.

- Associated Press

Also in Business

l Hurd seeks to block letter: Former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd asked a Delaware judge to allow him to intervene in a shareholder's lawsuit so he can fight to keep a sealed letter about his departure confidential.

l Airlines raising prices: Several airlines confirmed Tuesday that they are raising prices on many domestic routes by $10 one-way and $20 per round trip. United, Continental and Delta said they're raising prices effective immediately. Southwest did not immediately follow suit.

- From news services


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