R. Aaron Chastain

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After graduating from Vanderbilt Law School and clerking on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Aaron Chastain joined the firm’s litigation practice group and appellate practice team. He represents clients in a broad range of industries, including healthcare, financial services, pharmaceuticals, insurance, telecommunications, and consumer products. His practice focuses on analyzing problems to determine the most effective and cost-efficient resolution and pursuing that result in trial and appellate courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution forums. View articles by Aaron

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Mississippi Joins the Anti-Preemption Parade

The Mississippi Supreme Court recently rejected federal preemption arguments relating to federally owned student loans. This follows other preemption rulings, as we’ve discussed here and here. Mississippi’s attorney general filed the action on behalf of the state against Navient Corporation, bringing claims under the Mississippi Consumer Protections Act and for unjust enrichment for Navient’s alleged … Continue Reading

CDC Issues Eviction Moratorium, but Will It Survive Legal Challenge?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a sweeping moratorium on most evictions through the end of 2020 as a means to stop the spread of COVID-19, which will go into effect on September 4, 2020. According to government estimates, the order will cover up to 40 million renters nationwide. This unprecedented exercise of … Continue Reading

Oregon Passes Mandatory Forbearance Law

On June 30, 2020, Oregon joined D.C., Massachusetts, and New York in passing state-specific COVID-19 mortgage assistance programs into law. This new law further confuses the patchwork quilt of compliance issues for mortgage lenders and servicers. Oregon also became the first state to create an express cause of action allowing borrowers to enforce the state … Continue Reading

Credit Reporting During the COVID-19 Outbreak: CFPB Issues FAQs for CARES Act Requirements

The CFPB recently issued its “Consumer Reporting FAQs Related to the CARES Act and COVID-19 Pandemic,” addressing 10 credit reporting issues. While the FAQs provide some much-needed clarity for furnishers of information and credit reporting agencies, the CFPB left some significant questions unanswered. Below we breakdown highlights of the FAQs: Several of the FAQs — … Continue Reading

New York Passes Mandatory Forbearance Law, Inviting Potential Constitutional Challenge

On June 17, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed one of the most far-reaching COVID-19 mortgage assistance state programs yet into law. Affected servicers and lenders will soon need to decide whether they should find a way to comply, or bring a constitutional challenge. The new law mandates that New York-regulated banking organizations and mortgage … Continue Reading

Federal Law Preempts Connecticut’s Student Loan Servicer Licensing Law, According to Federal Court

Several states have recently ramped up their regulation of the student lending industry by passing laws requiring student loan servicers to be licensed in the state in order to operate there. Many of these state licensing laws are creating conflicts for servicers in an industry already dominated by federal law. Now a U.S. District Court … Continue Reading

Misrepresentation Claims Not Preempted: Eleventh Circuit Rules Against Preemption in Student Loan Case

As we’ve been tracking for over a year now, courts across the country have addressed the significant question of whether the federal laws governing federally owned or guaranteed student loans preempt state laws placing burdens on servicers of those loans. Last week, the Eleventh Circuit became the latest court to weigh in, holding in Lawson-Ross … Continue Reading

New Nevada Decisions Confirm Additional Ways to Satisfy HOA Superpriority Liens

The Nevada Supreme Court again turned its attention to superpriority liens in the first quarter of 2020, issuing two opinions dealing with tenders, i.e. attempts or offers to pay. These decisions outline additional ways that the superpriority portion of an HOA’s lien can be satisfied, offering hope to lenders embroiled in litigation over the continuing … Continue Reading

CFPB Offers Flexibility for Responding to Credit Reporting Disputes During COVID-19 Pandemic — But Private Litigants May Not

The CFPB’s April 1, 2020, statement regarding credit reporting for loans affected by COVID-19 announced a “flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during this pandemic.” In addition to guidance regarding furnishing obligations while consumers are impacted by COVID-19, the bureau specifically announced relaxed enforcement standards for companies struggling to respond to consumer credit disputes within the … Continue Reading

Credit Reporting Requirements and COVID-19 – CFPB and FHA Weigh In

We’ve been tracking regulatory developments related to credit reporting for loans where borrowers have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. On April 1, the CFPB issued a statement about credit reporting for loans affected by COVID-19. The statement announces the CFPB’s “flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during this pandemic” and seeks to reassure credit reporting … Continue Reading

Federal Regulatory Agencies Offer Interagency Statement Regarding COVID-19-Related Loan Modifications and Status Reporting

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors issued an Interagency Statement on March 22 urging regulated financial institutions to work with borrowers affected … Continue Reading

COVID-19 and the Mortgage Industry: 7 Things We Know Today

Operating a financial institution is always a challenge, but the COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a unique set of overlapping and sometimes conflicting concerns for mortgage originators and servicers. Here is what we know as of March 20: On March 18, 2020, HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2020-04, announcing a 60-day moratorium for foreclosures and evictions, effective … Continue Reading

How Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacting the Student Lending Industry?

Like the country and economy at large, the COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting secondary education and the student lending industry. In response to the pandemic, colleges across the country closed their campuses, sent students home, and turned to online learning platforms, creating uncertainty for current student borrowers. President Trump, Congress, and the U.S. Department of … Continue Reading

Credit Reporting During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Fannie Mae and the VA Offer New Guidance

We previously blogged about the push among lawmakers and regulators to encourage or force financial institutions to cease providing adverse credit reporting on consumer loans where the delinquency or default may be related to the outbreak of COVID-19. Given the rapidly changing environment, it is not surprising that there have been some material changes in … Continue Reading

How to Handle Credit Reporting for Consumer Loans That Are Delinquent or in Default Due to COVID-19 Related Delays

Although the major federal banking and consumer lending regulatory industries have issued a joint statement indicating “that financial institutions should work constructively with borrowers and other customers in areas affected by COVID-19,” there are open questions regarding whether financial institutions should change their normal policies and procedures for furnishing credit reporting information regarding the status … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Endorses Narrow Definition of TCPA Autodialer Creating Circuit Split

On January 27, 2020, a federal court of appeals issued a significant decision interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as the “TCPA”) in a way that limits the expansive potential liability companies face under the statute. In Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit … Continue Reading

State Law Claims Based on Student Loan Servicer’s Loss Mitigation Representations Not Preempted by the HEA, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Holds

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck a blow to student loan servicers’ arguments that certain state law claims brought by borrowers are preempted under the Higher Education Act (HEA). In a lengthy opinion issued on June 27, 2019, in Nelson v. Great Lakes Educations Loan Services, Inc., the court held that a borrower’s state … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Strikes Down TCPA Exemption for Collection of Government Debt, Putting Loan Servicers and Debt Collectors at Risk

A recent decision by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has significant – and possibly costly – implications for loan servicers and debt collectors seeking to collect on loans owed to or guaranteed by the United States. On April 24, the … Continue Reading

Nevada Supreme Court Rules Bank Tender Defeats HOA Superpriority Lien

As lenders and servicers continue to litigate in Nevada’s state and federal courts about the effect of homeowner associations’ (HOAs) foreclosure sales, some questions have proven particularly sticky. What happens when a lender mails in a check to an HOA for its superpriority lien, but the check is refused? How about when the lender offers … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds Foreclosure Firms Are (Generally) Not Debt Collectors under the FDCPA

Conducting a foreclosure does not make one a “debt collector,” at least for the general purposes of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). That fact is the upshot of yesterday’s unanimous Supreme Court decision in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP. In Obduskey, the law firm of McCarthy & Holthus LLP was hired to … Continue Reading

Nevada Courts Provide Additional Guidance on HOA Super Priority Lien Law for Lenders

As we’ve discussed on this blog before, Nevada’s courts remain a battleground for lenders seeking to establish that their security interests were not eliminated by homeowners’ association foreclosure sales under NRS 116. In recent weeks, the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court of Nevada have issued new opinions providing more guidance to ultimately resolve those issues. … Continue Reading

Florida Third District Court of Appeal’s Ruling in Favor of Reverse Mortgage Lender Signals New Positive Outlook for Non-Borrowing Spouse Issue

Reverse mortgage lenders received a significant victory in Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal last week when the court issued its decision in OneWest Bank, FSB v. Palmero. After previously ruling in Smith v. Reverse Mortgage Solutions, Inc. and Edwards v. Reverse Mortgage Solutions, Inc. that the surviving spouses of borrowers who had taken out reverse mortgage … Continue Reading

New Decision from the D.C. Court of Appeals Recognizes Additional Defenses to HOA Super-Priority Lien Statute

As we noted in last week’s blog post, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued a decision on March 1, 2018, that created a new wave of uncertainty for lenders with loans secured by deeds of trust on condominium units in the District of Columbia. In the Liu decision, the court held that a … Continue Reading

Is a Foreclosure Crisis Looming in Our Nation’s Capital?

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals recently sent a new set of shockwaves through the mortgage industry in the nation’s capital when it released its decision in Andrea Liu v. U.S. Bank National Association. Having held over three years ago that condominium associations have “super-priority” liens for unpaid assessments and can wipe out first … Continue Reading
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