The regulatory landscape in the mortgage industry is perpetually evolving. Blank Rome’s Mortgage industry team provides timely, focused, industry-informed counsel across every aspect of the market.

Our Mortgage industry team holds decades of experience as trusted advisers on the forefront of the industry. We represent the country’s largest national banks, regional and local banks and non-bank mortgage lenders, brokers, settlement service providers, secondary market participants, mortgage trade associations, home builders, and property technology (“PropTech”) companies.

How We Can Help

Our Mortgage industry team includes attorneys with deep experience on a broad range of issues, including:

Licensing, Examinations & Enforcement Actions

Our Mortgage industry team regularly advises banks and non-bank lenders and brokers on issues related to licensure, examinations, and enforcement actions, such as:

  • Preparing initial licensure analyses and license applications, including counsel on state requirements and Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (“NMLS”) issues;
  • Developing compliance programs, policies, and procedures, as well as conducting compliance and operational reviews in preparation for licensure or examinations;
  • Providing counsel on state and federal examinations, including examination preparation and examination finding responses for state regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”);
  • Representing clients in pre-enforcement and enforcement actions with state and federal regulators; and
  • Negotiating consent orders, master repurchase agreements (“MRAs”), examination closure letters, and regulatory fines or penalties with state banking regulators, state attorneys general, and the CFPB.

Regulatory Compliance

Our Mortgage industry team’s experience encompasses the last 20 years of regulatory compliance changes, including:

  • Providing strategic compliance advice on issues impacting origination, mortgage disclosures, and servicing;
  • Drafting loan originator compensation agreements, marketing services agreements, net branch agreements, and other lending operation agreements;
  • Preparing comment letters on proposed regulations and developing implementation strategies for finalized regulations;
  • Advising on compliance with federal and state mortgage loan origination, servicing, and secondary market regulations, and working with state regulators to obtain approvals, licenses, no-action letters, or other regulatory guidance;
  • Preparing 50+ state analyses on applicable laws governing the origination, servicing, and sale of mortgage loans, including issues related to high-cost home loan triggers, late charges, prepayment penalties, points and fees restrictions, payoff statement fees, default servicing fees, interest on escrow accounts, and NSF fees; and

Providing fair lending assessments and related Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”) compliance advice.

M&A, Secondary Market & Repurchase Issues

Our Mortgage industry team regularly helps clients navigate successful mergers, manage secondary market risk, and mitigate repurchase exposure. These skills require blending compliance understanding with deep industry knowledge. Our Mortgage industry team experience includes:

  • Representing non-bank mortgage lenders and brokers in mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) transactions, including serving as deal counsel, compliance counsel, and counsel for advance change notice issues with state regulators, surety bond companies, NMLS filings, and secondary market counterparties;
  • Drafting and negotiating mortgage loan purchase agreements, warehouse lines of credit, and delegated and non-delegated underwriting brokerage agreements;
  • Instituting, responding to, and defending repurchase demands in connection with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), Veterans Affairs (“VA”), and private secondary market transactions; and
  • Representing mortgage servicers and lenders in connection with title insurance claims and title curative matters involving a variety of complicated title issues, such as unrecorded mortgages and lien priority disputes and matters involving fraud and identity theft.

Regulatory Landscape

Our Mortgage industry team has experience with the following laws and regulations:

  • Anti-Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act (“AML-BSA”)
  • Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”)
  • Electronic Funds Transfer Act (“EFTA”)
  • Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“E-Sign Act”)
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”)
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”)
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”)
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”)
  • Military Lending Act (“MLA”)
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”)
  • Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (“SAFE Act”)
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”)
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”)
  • Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”)
  • Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (“UDAAP”)

What Sets Us Apart

Our attorneys have a diverse range of backgrounds, including partners who served in significant senior positions with the industry’s primary regulators, law enforcement, and the general counsel’s office of the largest diversified financial services firms.

Our firm earned national and regional Tier 1 rankings in U.S. News & World Report–Best Lawyers® 2023 “Best Law Firms” for Real Estate Law.

Our attorneys hold leadership positions in several financial services industry trade groups and legal organizations and are frequently called upon to speak to organizations such as the Mortgage Bankers Association, Commercial Finance Association, and the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association.