BuckleySandler & PLI Release 2015 Edition of “Consumer Financial Services Answer Book”

BuckleySandler LLP is pleased to announce the availability of the 2015 edition of the “Consumer Financial Services Answer Book,” published by the Practising Law Institute. Twenty-one BuckleySandler attorneys contributed to 12 chapters in this leading desk reference, which uses an easy question and answer format to address matters involving consumer financial services law. BuckleySandler Partner Richard Gottlieb also served as lead editor, a role he has held since publication of the first annual edition in 2011.

The 2015 edition of this publication continues to provide practitioners with a core understanding of the laws governing consumer financial services, addressing the latest developments in Consumer Financial Services Bureau (CFPB) enforcement activities, regulations and guidelines, fair lending, auto lending, the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), among others.

New chapters in the 2015 edition address:

  • Credit Cards
  • Electronic Records and eSignatures
  • Short-Term Lending
  • Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAAP)
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
  • Telemarketing and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

From compliance counseling to enforcement, BuckleySandler has been handling precedent-setting CFPB matters since the Bureau was established in 2011 — experiences which enabled its attorneys to contribute the added insight and advice on current and emerging CFPB developments, trends, and expectations for the Answer Book.

The Consumer Financial Services Answer Book is for sale in hard copy format by the Practising Law Institute at www.pli.edu.

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Webinar Recap: The CFPB’s Expanding Oversight of Auto Finance, Part I

On October 1, 2014, BuckleySandler hosted a webinar, The CFPB’s Expanding Oversight of Auto Finance, Part One. Through an examination of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) authority, recent enforcement activities, and discussion of the exam process, Kirk Jensen, John Redding, Michelle Rogers, Marshall Bell and Lori Sommerfield explored the different areas of the auto finance industry coming into the CFPB’s focus.

BuckleySandler will present The CFPB’s Expanding Oversight of Auto Finance, Part Two on October 30, 2014.

Explaining the Larger Participant Rule

Since its creation, the CFPB has held statutory authority to supervise nonbank institutions who are “a larger participant of a market for other consumer financial products or services.” On September 17, 2014, the CFPB proposed a rule defining a market for “automobile financing” and “larger participants” within that market. Under this proposed rule:

  • A nonbank institution is a larger participant in the auto finance market if it “has at least 10,000 aggregate annual originations,” which includes:
    • Credit granted for the purpose of purchasing an automobile
    • Refinancings
    • Automobile leases
    • Purchases of extensions of credit and leases
  • An “automobile” includes any self-propelled vehicle used primarily for a consumer purpose for on-road transportation, except for certain identified vehicle types, including recreational vehicles, motor scooters and limited others
  • Affiliates are included in calculations but dealers are excluded

Read more…

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BuckleySandler & American Bankers Association Release CFPB Mortgage Origination Deskbook

BuckleySandler is pleased to announce the availability of “The New CFPB Mortgage Origination Rules Deskbook,” by partner Joseph Reilly. The CFPB Deskbook, published in partnership with the American Bankers Association, is an all-inclusive compilation of all the mortgage origination rules made by effective by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in January 2014, including:

  • Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage requirements
  • Points and Fees
  • Loan Originator Compensation
  • Appraisals
  • High-Cost Mortgages
  • Qualified Mortgage Provisions for Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs loans
  • Summary of the TILA-RESPA disclosure integration taking effect in 2015

“Our goal was to consolidate the numerous sources of CFPB regulatory guidance into a clear, organized format,” said Reilly. “We wanted to provide comprehensive descriptions from not just the rule text and official commentary but also from CFPB webinars, compliance guides, preamble material from federal register releases and informal compliance discussions with CFPB staff.  We hope this will be a ‘one-stop shop’ for origination compliance.”

Benjamin K. Olson, BuckleySandler partner and former Deputy Assistant Director in the CFPB’s Office of Regulations who was involved in the development of many of the rules covered by the CFPB Deskbook, describes it as “an invaluable resource with the potential to change the way regulations are understood.”

The CFPB Deskbook is available in PDF and hard copy formats. Requests for copies should be sent to CFPBDeskbook@buckleysandler.com.

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Special Alert: Proposed Amendments to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (“TRID”) Rule, Transcript of CFPB Webinar on the Loan Estimate Form, and Introducing BuckleySandler’s TRID Resource Center

BuckleySandler is pleased to announce our new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (“TRID”) Resource Center.  The TRID Resource Center is a one-stop shop for TRID issues, providing access to BuckleySandler’s analysis of the TRID rule and the CFPB’s amendments, transcripts of CFPB webinars providing guidance on the rule, and other CFPB publications that will facilitate implementation of the rule.  In particular, the TRID Resource Center will address the following recent developments:

  • Proposed amendments. On October 10, 2014, the CFPB proposed amendments to the TRID rule that, if adopted, would: (1) allow creditors to provide a revised Loan Estimate on the business day after the date the interest rate is locked, instead of the current requirement to provide the revised Loan Estimate on the date the rate is locked; and (2) correct an oversight by creating room on the Loan Estimate form for the disclosure that must be provided on the initial Loan Estimate as a condition of issuing a revised estimate for construction loans where the creditor reasonably expects settlement to occur more than 60 days after the initial estimate is provided.  The proposal would also make a number of additional amendments, clarifications, and corrections, including:
    • Add the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure to the list of loan documents that must disclose the name and NMLSR ID number of the loan originator organization and individual loan originator under 12 C.F.R. § 1026.36(g);
    • Provide additional guidance related to the disclosure of escrow accounts, such as when an escrow account is established but escrow payments are not required with a particular periodic payment or range of payments; and
    • Clarify that, consistent with the requirement for the Loan Estimate, the addresses for all properties securing the loan must be provided on the Closing Disclosure, although an addendum may be used for this purpose.

    Comments on the proposal are due by November 10, 2014. For your convenience, we have updated our summary of the TRID rule to identify the most significant proposed changes.

Read more…

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BuckleySandler Establishes International Presence With Opening of London Office

Law Firm Expansion to Further Assist Clients with Global Litigation, Financial Crimes Compliance, Privacy/Data Protection & FCPA Needs

WASHINGTON, DC / LONDON, ENGLAND (September 8, 2014) – BuckleySandler LLP, a leading financial services and criminal & civil enforcement defense law firm, announced today the opening of its first international office, located in London. James T. Parkinson has relocated from the firm’s Washington, DC office to be its London partner-in-residence, enabling the firm to better assist its clients with their global regulatory, litigation, enforcement, financial crimes, FCPA, digital commerce, privacy/data security and anti-money laundering needs.

“As the enforcement, regulatory and litigation challenges facing our clients globalize, it has become apparent that we need to be in London to enable us to meet our clients’ global needs,” explained BuckleySandler Chairman and Executive Partner Andrew L. Sandler. “Jamie’s move to London and our evolving strategic partnerships with global law firms with complementary practices are important steps in enabling the firm to assist clients in their global challenges and expand our global financial crimes practice.”

“I am excited to be relocating to London to better enable the firm to meet the global needs of our clients and expand our global financial crimes practice.  Our new London presence is a significant part of BuckleySandler’s overall development of a strong capability to advise clients on comprehensive solutions to regulatory and enforcement problems on a global basis,” noted Parkinson. “This is an important initiative for the firm and a welcome professional opportunity for me.”

Sandler added, “With Jamie in London and the firm expanding our strategic partnerships, we are now able to respond immediately to client needs on a global basis.”

BuckleySandler’s London address: 16 St Martin’s Le Grand, London EC1A 4EN.

With more than 150 lawyers in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London, BuckleySandler provides best-in-class legal counsel to meet the challenges of its financial services industry and other corporate and individual clients across the full range of government enforcement actions, complex and class action litigation and transactional, regulatory and public policy issues. Operating in the United Kingdom as BuckleySandler International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales, for the practice of US law.  The Firm represents numerous national and international leading financial services institutions. Online: www.buckleysandler.com; Twitter: https://twitter.com/BuckleySandler; InfoBytes Blog: http://www.infobytesblog.com.

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Nominate InfoBytes Blog For Best Legal Blog!

Do you value our InfoBytes Blog content? Help us spread the word about our work! Show your support by nominating us for the Blawg 100, ABA Journal’s annual listing of the 100 best legal blogs. Nominations (up to 500 words) are due on Friday, August 8 by 5 p.m. ET. The nomination form can be found here.

Thank you for your continued support of InfoBytes!

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BuckleySandler Achieves Landmark Settlement in Navajo Nation Breach of Trust Lawsuit Against United States

WASHINGTON (June 1, 2014)BuckleySandler LLP is proud to announce that it has obtained a $554 million settlement on behalf of its client the Navajo Nation. The settlement resolves the Nation’s landmark lawsuit alleging that the U.S. had breached its historical fiduciary obligations by failing to manage, invest and account for tribal trust funds and resources under the custody and control of the U.S. in a manner that would maximize the financial return from those assets.  This is the largest settlement obtained in any action by a single Tribe against the U.S. and exceeds, by more than $170 million, the largest single resolution in the more than 100 natural resource breach of trust cases filed against the U.S. by American Indian Tribes. Read more…

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Look Before You Invest: Bitcoins, Virtual Currencies, Emerging Payment Products, and Regulatory Compliance

Margo H.K. Tank, Michael Zeldin, and Ian C.B. Spear, attorneys with BuckleySandler LLP in Washington DC, advise financial institutions on electronic financial services, mobile payments, prepaid access and virtual payment methods, in the areas of anti-money laundering, privacy, trade sanctions, and regulatory compliance.

Emerging payment products, such as Bitcoin, present tantalizing investment opportunities. The claim that these products are “unregulatable,” or “free of the power of the state” increases the temptation to participate, because if true, regulatory uncertainty associated with traditional financial industries would be eliminated. Notwithstanding these claims, virtual currency laws and regulations seem primed to explode. Acknowledging that “virtual currency systems offer ‘legitimate’ financial services,” the Department of Justice, for example, has investigated and prosecuted illegal activities involving virtual currencies. As a result, risk-related issues like money laundering, terrorist financing, and economic and trade sanctions remain critical to evaluating investments in emerging payment products. To understand why, consider how the emerging payments industry is regulated now and what additional regulation might emerge.

Click here to read the full article at JDSupra.com.

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BuckleySandler Joins the Law Firm Sustainability Network

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BuckleySandler LLP is proud to support the Law Firm Sustainability Network. The firm believes that by working collaboratively with others in the legal industry, it can have an ever greater impact on preserving the environment.  In that spirit, BuckleySandler has joined the Law Firm Sustainability Network and support its mission to develop key performance indicators, foster knowledge-sharing, develop best practice guidelines, and recognize innovation regarding environmental sustainability.

Click here to read LFSN’s official launch press release.

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BUCKLEYSANDLER EXPANDS ITS LITIGATION PRACTICE WITH THREE NEW LAWYERS

BuckleySandler is pleased to announce today that Richard E. Gottlieb, a highly regarded class action defense litigator with over 25 years of experience, has joined the firm as a Partner.  Fredrick S. Levin, a notable class action and securities litigator, and Brett J. Natarelli, a consumer financial services litigator, will be joining the firm as a Partner and an Associate respectively. Gottlieb and Levin will be co-located in BuckleySandler’s Los Angeles and soon-to-be-opened Chicago office and Natarelli will be resident in the firm’s Chicago office.

“Richard and I have worked together on client matters for almost 20 years. He is one of the country’s most accomplished class action litigators serving banks, mortgage companies and other consumer financial services firms and we are fortunate to have him join our team.  Richard, Fredrick and Brett are talented and multifaceted financial services litigators who will complement our national platform and expand our capability to represent clients in major class action cases, ‘bet the company’ litigation and enforcement matters particularly in California and Illinois, two very important jurisdictions for financial services litigation,” said Andrew L. Sandler, Chairman and Executive Partner of BuckleySandler LLP. “Their expertise in consumer class action litigation defense, government enforcement actions and regulatory compliance will provide great value to our clients.”

“We are thrilled to join one of the nation’s most distinguished financial services law firms and to help expand its national litigation, enforcement and regulatory compliance practices,” noted Gottlieb. “BuckleySandler has an unparalleled consumer litigation, enforcement, compliance and transactional practice and is an ideal place to grow my practice and bring enhanced value to clients.” Read more…

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Spotlight: Q&A with BuckleySandler’s Benjamin K. Olson, Former Senior CFPB Regulations Official

Consumer Finance Attorney Ben OlsonOn May 28, 2013, Benjamin K. Olson, former Deputy Assistant Director for the Office of Regulations at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), joined BuckleySandler LLP as Counsel in the firm’s Washington, DC office. A recognized expert in the field of consumer financial protection regulation, Ben brings his valuable insights and broad experience on regulatory matters based on his experience at the CFPB, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As he makes the transition to private practice, he’s excited about what lies ahead and has fond memories of his past eight years in government service. He shares some added professional and personal insights in this week’s InfoBytes Spotlight.

InfoBytes: Why did you decide to join BuckleySandler?

Benjamin K. Olson: For a number of reasons, BuckleySandler was a natural fit and, at the end of the day, an easy choice.  First, it’s a leading firm in the financial services field with a talented and experienced team already in place.  I know all too well from my experience in government that the range of issues financial institutions face are far too complex for any one person to handle alone.  For that reason, it was important to me to join a group whose expertise could compliment my own. Read more…

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Senior CFPB Regulations Official Joins BuckleySandler

Consumer Finance Attorney Ben OlsonBuckleySandler LLP today announced that Benjamin K. Olson, former Deputy Assistant Director for the Office of Regulations at the CFPB, has joined the firm as Counsel in its Washington, DC office. A recognized expert in the field of consumer financial protection regulation, Olson will bring valuable insights and broad experience on regulatory matters based on his experience at the CFPB, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Trade Commission. Most recently, he supervised the CFPB’s mortgage and credit card rulemakings, including those implementing provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Olson will play an integral role in the firm’s Government Enforcement/CFPB practice, handling financial services matters at the intersection of consumer protection and government regulation to provide advice and guidance to clients on government investigations and enforcement actions.

While at the CFPB, Olson managed over 40 regulatory attorneys and staff in the Bureau’s Office of Regulations, which is responsible for researching and analyzing complex legal and policy issues, drafting proposed and final rules and providing guidance to supervision and enforcement staff regarding consumer financial protection laws. Most recently, he oversaw eight Dodd-Frank Act mortgage rulemakings, including the CFPB’s Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage, Mortgage Servicing and Loan Originator Compensation final rules. Prior to that, he led the CFPB’s preparation of proposed regulations and forms integrating federal mortgage disclosures. Read more…

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SEC National Examination Program Publishes 2013 Examination Priorities

On February 21, the NEP published its examination priorities for 2013. The NEP’s market-wide priorities include (i) fraud detection and prevention, (ii) corporate governance and enterprise risk management, (iii) conflicts of interest, and (iv) technology. The NEP also identifies priorities for its (i) investment advisers and investment companies, (ii) broker-dealers, (iii) clearing and transfer agents, and (iv) market oversight program areas. For example, for the investment advisers and investment companies program area, the NEP plans to focus on certain ongoing risks including (i) safety of assets, (ii) marketing and performance advertising, and (iii) fund governance, as well as certain new and emerging risks.

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BuckleySandler Offers Two Upcoming Complimentary Webinars

The Evolution of False Claims Act and FIRREA Enforcement

BuckleySandler LLP will host a webinar on Friday, November 16, 2012, from 1:00 – 2:15 PM ET, focused on the Government’s most recent financial fraud enforcement actions, an overview of recent False Claims Act (FCA) cases and the Government’s increasing use of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), and what this means for financial institutions that do business with the Government, Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), and other recipients of federal funds.

BuckleySandler attorneys Andrew Sandler, Andrew Schilling, Matthew Previn, and Michelle Rogers will cover:

  • A summary of recent enforcement actions by the DOJ, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York’s (SDNY) use and expansion of      FCA and FIRREA.
  • Understanding what the SDNY’s most recent lawsuits mean for the industry.
  • Challenges facing financial services companies who do business with the Government and the GSEs.
  • Predictions about where the Government may go from here.

This webinar will be of particular interest to in-house legal, compliance, and risk management personnel at banks and other financial services providers that do business with the Government, GSEs and other recipients of federal funds. Please no outside law firms, government agency personnel, consulting firms, or media. After registering and being approved, you will receive a confirmation email containing instructions for joining the webinar. Click here to register.

 

The CFPB: Investigations and Enforcement Actions in Focus

On Thursday, December 6, 2012 from 2:00-3:15 PM E, BuckleySandler LLP will host a webinar to discuss the CFPB’s rules governing investigations, enforcement actions, and adjudications. BuckleySandler attorneys Jeff Naimon, Jonice Gray Tucker, and Lori Sommerfield,  also will discuss themes prevalent in the first three public enforcement actions undertaken by the CFPB, all of which were predicated, in part, on allegations of unfair and deceptive practices.

This webinar will be of particular interest to in-house legal, compliance, and risk management personnel at banks and other financial services providers subject to CFPB oversight. Please no outside law firms, government agency personnel, consulting firms, or media. After registering and being approved, you will receive a confirmation email containing instructions for joining the webinar. Click here to register.

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Tips for Minimizing Missteps When Interfacing with SEC Staff

In a recent article published in Law360, BuckleySandler partners Thomas Sporkin and Robyn Quattrone, and associate Kendra Kinnaird, write about SEC enforcement proceedings and provide tips for minimizing missteps when interfacing with SEC staff. Counsel’s conduct and interactions with SEC staff prior to, during and following any type of informal or formal investigation can have a huge impact on the staff’s treatment and management of the proceeding. The authors review recent statements from senior government officials and examples from recent enforcement proceedings and explain that, while courtesy and professionalism will not avoid actions where they are warranted, mismanaging interactions with staff can make matters worse and even seemingly small and simple mistakes can be costly to the reputations (and wallets) of clients. To aid practitioners and companies facing an SEC investigation, the authors provide best practices for counseling clients and interacting with SEC staff prior to the filing of a formal SEC enforcement action, including tips for developing compliance programs, presenting internal investigation results, and negotiating penalties and other settlement provisions.

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