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The filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by financial services firm Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, remains the largest bankruptcy filing in U. history, with Lehman holding over US0,000,000,000 in assets.
The bank had become so deeply involved in mortgage origination that it had effectively become a real estate hedge fund disguised as an investment bank.
Apartment-building investors were also expected to feel pressure to sell as Lehman unloads its debt and equity pieces of the billion purchase of Archstone, the third-largest United States real estate investment trust (REIT).
By Sunday, after the Barclays deal fell through, the news of pending doom swept through Lehman, and many employees arrived at the headquarters to clean out their offices.
By Sunday afternoon, the government summoned Harvey Miller of Weil, Gotshal & Manges to file for bankruptcy before the markets opened on Monday. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan) on September 16 indicated that JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Lehman borrowed significant amounts to fund its investing in the years leading to its bankruptcy in 2008, a process known as leveraging or gearing.
A significant portion of this investment was in housing-related assets, making it vulnerable to a downturn in that market.Lehman was one of the first Wall Street firms to move into the business of mortgage origination.