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Banking & Financial Services

Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance

Clark Hill’s Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance group is a national leader in the field of consumer financial services law, providing strategic legal counsel to clients in all areas of consumer finance.

We provide counsel, consultation, and litigation services to financial institutions, law firms, credit reporting agencies, and debt buyers throughout the country.

The financial services industry faces challenges on multiple fronts as it seeks to address issues resulting from the advent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in addition to the rejuvenated compliance expectations and proliferation of enforcement actions brought by prudential regulators including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Trustee, state agencies, state attorneys general, as well as class actions brought by civil litigants and consumer groups. In addition to our many offices around the country, our Washington, D.C. office allows our attorneys to stay on top of current developments, trends, and regulations affecting clients’ business objectives and priorities. Member Joann Needleman is a frequent contributor to InsideARM’s FDCPA Resource Center.

Our Consumer Financial Services group can help you navigate this rapidly evolving regulatory environment. Our exceptional team of lawyers and government and regulatory advisors has extensive experience and knowledge of the laws and regulations governing consumer financial products and services. We can assist you in developing and implementing compliance programs, as well as defending consumer litigation and regulatory enforcement actions. We have a broad range of experience and strive to obtain the best possible outcomes for our clients. Our lawyers work together in one multi-disciplinary practice to bring a higher level of specialized knowledge, practical guidance, and advice to our clients. This unique collaboration offers seamless legal services to effectively and efficiently resolve clients’ problems by addressing the many perspectives that may arise for a single legal issue before it turns into a larger problem, or that may lead to compliance solutions and regulatory strategies arising out of contentious litigation.

Banking & Finance Law

We represent a variety of financial institutions, ranging from federally chartered savings and loan associations to national banks, state banks, federal credit unions, bank holding companies, leasing companies, pension plan administrators, insurance companies, large private investors, registered broker-dealers, mortgage brokers, and guarantor organizations. Our services range from the formation of these institutions and their holding companies to commercial and real estate finance, equipment leasing, litigation, trust department services, regulatory affairs and compliance, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy, and lending transactions.

Our banking and finance practice offers a full range of legal services for arrangers, agents, underwriters, participants, lenders, and borrowers. Our team of finance lawyers has extensive experience structuring, negotiating, and documenting a wide range of commercial and real estate financing transactions. We can successfully address the increasing complexities of financing transactions in today’s financial environment. Our significant experience advising both lenders and borrowers in complex, heavily negotiated transactions is the basis for our solutions-oriented, business-savvy approach to getting deals done. Due to the depth and breadth of our experience, we understand the objectives, perspectives, and expectations of all sides of a financing transaction. Our finance lawyers work together as a single integrated team to provide insightful, effective, and efficient solutions for our clients at all stages of a transaction. Our team approach extends across our firm’s other practice areas, allowing us to provide the specialized expertise necessary to resolve issues and get transactions closed.

We have substantial experience representing financial institutions in mortgage fraud cases, both “offensively” in instances where a borrower has misrepresented facts in connection with a mortgage-backed loan, and “defensively” where a borrower files a complaint against a bank alleging fraud under federal and state statutes (Truth in Lending Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act), as part of a strategy to negotiate a favorable modification to a loan.

Our firm also has a wealth of experience in the various types of commercial litigation that impact financial institutions, including real estate litigation, Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) matters, consumer claims, probate & trust matters, leasing, foreclosures, contract litigation, and construction litigation. We are experienced in questions of lender liability and environmental compliance, as well as the specific requirements for out-of-state and foreign institutions making loans.

In lending transactions, our activities typically involve advising our clients for project finance matters, preparing the appropriate documentation and concluding large asset-based loans, term loans, line of credit, and the renegotiation and workout of these transactions. These loans have involved taking collateral in equipment, inventory, and other physical assets. We offer loan structure advice, and we review and negotiate secured and unsecured loans.

In the bankruptcy arena, we represent clients in proceedings across the country and in Canada. Our bankruptcy attorneys serve lending institutions (including banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, and pension funds) as well as creditors’ committees and trustees. The practice includes formal bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court workouts.

We are qualified as counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, having represented it (and the now-defunct Resolution Trust Corporation) in a variety of matters, including the investigation and litigation of professional liability claims against former officers, creditors, and third-party professionals who performed services for the failed savings and loan institutions; evaluating coverage under financial institution bonds and professional malpractice and director and officer liability policies; and assessing the details of complex commercial banking transactions and their compliance with federal banking regulations.