WILMINGTON, DEL. - A Delaware judge granted a request by Washington Mutual shareholders Tuesday to appoint an independent examiner who will review claims and assets in the company’s bankruptcy case.
The examiner also will review the legal settlement underlying the company’s reorganization plan.
Judge Mary Walrath made her decision after Washington Mutual, frustrated by shareholder demands for information, said an examiner may be needed to advance the case.
The judge directed the U.S. trustee in the case to choose an examiner by Monday. She also ordered that the examiner submit a preliminary plan by Aug. 6 .
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Shareholders say they been stymied in their efforts to obtain information about a proposed settlement agreement between Washington Mutual, JPMorgan Chase and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Those banks filed lawsuits against one another over roughly $4 billion in disputed deposit accounts after the FDIC seized WaMu’s flagship bank in 2008 and sold its assets to JPMorgan for $1.9 billion.
Shareholders say investors need to know the potential value of the company’s assets, and the potential claims that are being released under the proposed settlement, to determine whether the settlement is fair.