Consumer Financial Services

Overview

As regulation of the consumer financial services industry expands and evolves, lenders, servicers and other businesses in the industry can expect to be closely scrutinized by federal and state regulators, the courts and the plaintiffs’ bar.  The risk of disputes and enforcement actions has never been greater.

To effectively navigate this new landscape you need counsel that regularly tracks and informs clients about the latest industry developments and is further able to work through complex compliance issues as they arise. Our national consumer financial services industry team is comprised of business, regulatory, and litigation attorneys handling regulatory compliance, financial services and commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and white collar criminal defense and government investigations. 

How We Can Help

Regulatory Compliance and the CFPB 

Our regulatory compliance group regularly assists clients in the development of internal policies and procedures needed to minimize non-compliance risk exposure involving: 

  • loan originator compensation
  • Ability-to-Repay (“ATR”) / Qualified Mortgage (“QM”) compliance
  • Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (“SAFE”) Act concerns
  • consumer privacy protection
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) compliance and disclosures
  • fair lending and fair servicing issues
  • RESPA Section 8 issues

Our regulatory compliance team also has significant experience defending and resolving enforcement actions filed by state and federal regulators, assisting clients with licensing and registration issues, pursuing no-action requests on behalf of clients, assisting clients in preparing comments to proposed rules and responding to consumer complaints, rescission demands, Requests for Information, Notices of Error and other inquiries from consumers.

This group also counsels clients in regard to inquiries and investigations by government agencies, and conducts internal investigations to strategically assist in the process.

Consumer Finance Litigation

Our litigators successfully defend national and regional consumer lending and servicing clients in class action lawsuits across numerous state and federal courts, including bankruptcy proceedings.

Title Curative

  • title claims
  • correcting legal description errors
  • resolving chain of title and other vesting issues
  • defending against repurchase demands by government sponsored enterprises (“GSEs”) and private investors
  • negotiating and obtaining releases and subordination of prior mortgages, judgments, tax liens, and home owners association and condo owners association liens 

Transactional 

We solve problems that arise in the relationships among lenders, servicers, brokers, investors and GSEs. Our work includes merger and acquisition and portfolio sale transactions in the mortgage and other consumer finance industries as well as experience evaluating, structuring, and documenting consumer credit products and services, including mortgage loans, consumer leases, motor vehicle loans and leases, and other retail installment sale programs.

What Sets Us Apart

We strive to create true business partnerships with our clients to enable us to better assist them in identifying, considering and pursuing all options that best suit each individual client’s needs and business goals. We work closely with our clients to deliver legal services in the most effective and cost-efficient manner, and to structure our relationship and representation in ways that closely coordinate with each individual client’s business model. Our Team consists of experienced attorneys and other professionals dedicated to helping our clients anticipate and avoid problematic issues, and to effectively address these issues when they do arise. 

Experience

  • Successfully represented mortgage loan servicer in having federal district court (MD Fla. 2017) refuse to certify a putative class of borrowers alleging violations against mortgage loan servicer under the FDCPA and FCCPA for directly communicating with borrowers after allegedly being on notice of their representation by counsel.  The district court held that the class did not meet the ascertainability requirement under Fed.R.Civ.P 23(a) where numerous factual issues existed and determining membership in the class would involve a “highly individualized” file by-file review of approximately 560 loan files that would make a class action administratively unfeasible.  The district court also held that the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of establishing commonality and predominance under Fed.R.Civ.P (b).
  • Obtained judgment of non-suit in favor of lending institution in one month jury trial (Orange County, CA – 2017), defeating claims for wrongful foreclosure and promissory estoppel arising from the attempted reinstatement of a mortgage loan beyond California’s statutory reinstatement deadline.
  • Obtained pre-discovery dismissal of class action claims filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California, involving (1) violations of the Truth in Lending Act, (2) violations of the California Homeowner's Bill of Rights, (3) breach of a loan modification agreement, (4) unfair competition, and (5) declaratory relief.  Successfully urged the Court to adopt two novel defensive theories of first impression in the Ninth Circuit.
  • Succeeded on motion to dismiss class action (ED PA, 2016) alleging breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against the Bank and City of Philadelphia granted.
  • Secured appellate court reversal (4th DCA, FL 2015) of the trial court’s final judgment awarding a permanent loan modification to the borrower. Appellate court held that the trial court erred by forcing a loan modification and imposing a new contract on the parties that was outside the scope of the pleadings and was not tried by consent.
  • Successfully defeated Borrower’s challenges (2nd DCA, FL 2016) to standing to foreclose based on numerous issues principally focused on multiple allonges attached to various copies of the Note produced during different stages of the lower court case. Final judgement was obtained before the trial court and, in response to Borrower’s appeal, it was argued successfully that servicer re-established the Lost Note through the Lost Note Affidavit and Witness testimony at trial, that by meeting the elements of Florida’s Lost Note Affidavit Statute standing was established, that the Pooling and Servicing Agreement and Master Loan Schedule introduced as exhibits at trial proved standing and finally that the borrower’s failure at trial to argue an error in the Master Loan Schedule precluded that argument from being raised on appeal for the first time.
  • Obtained appellate decision affirming dismissal of Third Party claim and holding that that the Statute of Limitations to enforce a mortgage had not expired despite language in the default notice that if the default is not cured, the mortgage “will be accelerated.” (NY 2nd Dept., 2017)
  • Second Circuit (2016) affirmed a District Court order of dismissal of a would-be class action against Northland Group, Inc. and held that violations of state and local debt collection statutes are not per se violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Obtained summary judgment (CT. Superior Ct, 201___) on contested foreclosure action including dismissing claims of fraud and Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Team

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