Fair & Responsible Banking
BuckleySandler has the nation’s leading fair and responsible banking practice. We have defended many of the most significant Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fair lending and unfair and deceptive trade practice enforcement actions since the early 1990s and we have been involved in many of the major fair lending matters involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) since its inception. On behalf of our financial services clients, we also have defended numerous state attorney general, municipality and private fair and responsible lending cases. We also regularly advise clients on regulatory and compliance matters in the developing area of fair and responsible banking.
Our senior lawyers have more than 20 years of experience defending fair and responsible lending matters in private practice. Others have significant regulatory experience, having worked on fair and responsible lending issues at the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the FTC. Our team also includes former senior in-house legal counsel with fair and responsible lending and compliance risk management oversight responsibilities at some of the nation’s largest banks and other financial service companies.
BuckleySandler lawyers are involved on a daily basis in helping clients navigate emerging fair and responsible banking issues and current regulatory developments. In the past several years, we have handled many significant fair and responsible legal matters, including:
- Defense of financial institutions in threatened or actual referrals by the federal banking agencies to DOJ for alleged “pattern or practice” lending discrimination involving a wide variety of claims including redlining, reverse redlining, pricing discrimination, underwriting and marketing practices, and the SCRA.
- Defense of financial institutions in bank regulatory agency enforcement actions alleging discrimination or unfair or deceptive acts or practices with respect to mortgage lending, credit card, auto and consumer lending and collections, and small business lending.
- Defense against mortgage redlining and reverse redlining allegations brought by several municipalities.
- Defense of class action litigation alleging discriminatory lending and/or improper sales practices.
Our attorneys provide proactive risk management and compliance advice on the myriad traditional fair and responsible lending issues related to mortgage origination and servicing, as well as more recent areas of focus such as auto lending, credit cards, deposit products, student loans and small business lending. We also counsel our clients on emerging issues related to the Dodd-Frank Act and the introduction of a new federal enforcement agency, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB).
Our comprehensive counseling practice is guided by the extensive experience our lawyers have in representing clients in federal and state government enforcement investigations, administrative proceedings, and complex litigation involving a broad spectrum of issues related to the fair and equitable treatment of consumers in all aspects of lending and servicing. We work closely with our clients in the design and implementation of compliance risk management programs that best address the challenges ahead.
Our attorneys are leading authorities on federal and state fair and responsible lending laws and regulations, including:
- Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B
- Fair Housing Act (FHA)
- Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
- Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)
- Federal Trade Commission Act – Section 5 (Unfair and Deceptive Acts or Practices)
- Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA)
- Homeowners Protection Act
- Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
- Civil Rights Act of 1866
- Truth in Lending Act (TILA) – Section 32
- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
- Fair Credit Reporting Act – Notice Requirements
- Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
- State and local fair and anti-predatory lending laws and regulations
For a list of BuckleySandler’s fair and responsible lending litigation and enforcement matters, see "Significant Representations" below.