WASHINGTON — A bond lawyer group said Wednesday that while issuers technically do not have to file material event notices on rating changes for pre-refunded bonds that have been legally defeased by an escrow of U.S. Treasuries, they can easily file such notices with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s EMMA system.

John McNally, president of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, said the group issued the NABLNET alert after receiving several calls about the rating disclosure requirements for pre-refunded bonds. The calls came after Standard & Poor’s downgraded its rating on long-term Treasuries to AA-plus from AAA and then, a few days later, downgraded thousands of pre-refunded bonds with escrows of Treasuries to AA-plus from AAA.

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