Photo of James W. Wright Jr.

Jay Wright is a partner in the firm’s Banking and Financial Services and Litigation practice groups. Jay has earned his Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation through the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and is one of a small number of lawyers who have achieved this status.

Jay’s practice focuses on financial services litigation and regulation, and he is actively involved in lawsuits and disputes across the country representing companies involved in a wide array of state and federal law claims. His representation includes general defense of various claims against financial institutions, mortgage companies, and other commercial entities. Many of these claims involve allegations of wrongful foreclosure proceedings or violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) regulations, as well as various deceptive trade practices claims under state law.

FHA Updates Single Family Policy Handbook 4000.1In late July, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) made several important revisions to the Single Family Policy Handbook 4000.1. The new guidance is part of a series of changes recently announced by the Biden-era FHA, including guidance related to COVID-19 recovery loss mitigation options. Describing the changes as primarily “enhancements and revisions” and “technical

HUD Announces New COVID-19 Recovery Loss Mitigation OptionsIn a bid to avoid a wave of COVID-19-related foreclosures, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published Mortgagee Letter 2021-18 to lenders and servicers on July 23, 2021, that will allow borrowers with loans insured by the Federal Housing Agency (FHA) to extend the term of their mortgages and lock in lower monthly

Roughly three months ago, President Biden signed an executive order that, among other things, directed HUD to reevaluate earlier agency decisions perceived to weaken the Fair Housing Act. In response to this directive, HUD has submitted draft rules to the Office of Management and Budget that would roll back two significant changes made by the

New York Enacts New Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure LawOn December 15, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that, among other things, requires reverse mortgage lenders in the state to notify the state’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) and mortgagors of an impending foreclosure action on reverse mortgage borrowers.

The legal and regulatory regime governing reverse mortgages rapidly evolved

Hemp Banking – FinCEN Issues New Guidance Regarding AML/BSA ObligationsThis article was written in collaboration with Jake Fanella and Jessica Caballero at VeriLeaf.  VeriLeaf is a modern RegTech platform that optimizes the onboarding, review and ongoing compliance required for high-risk banking markets. VeriLeaf leverages state-specific requirements and the financial institution’s compliance program to streamline qualification, risk assessment, and onboarding of high-risk businesses in markets

Ginnie Mae Announces PTAP Assistance for IssuersIn an All Participants Memo dated April 10, 2020 (APM 20-03), Ginnie Mae announced that it revised and expanded its issuer assistance programs in Chapter 34 of the Mortgage Backed Securities Guide (MBS Guide) to include a Pass-Through Assistance Program (PTAP) in response to the COVID-19 national emergency declaration. The program announced in APM 20-03

HUD, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac Suspend Foreclosures and Evictions for 60 DaysDuring a COVID-19 press briefing at the White House on March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will temporarily suspend “all foreclosures and evictions.” The president made this announcement to provide “immediate relief” to homeowners and renters struggling to make rent and mortgage payments. The president’s

Is the Bank Open? Federal Agencies Clarify Regulatory Requirements for Banking HempOn December 3, several federal agencies issued guidance (Guidance) that, by its terms, “provide[s] clarity” regarding “the regulatory requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) for banks providing services to hemp-related businesses.” Hemp proponents hope this additional clarity will encourage hesitant financial institutions to begin serving the hemp industry.

The key takeaway from the Guidance

HUD and DOJ Release Memorandum on the Application and Enforcement of FHA Violations Involving the False Claims ActIn an effort to provide clarity and certainty to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) approved lenders, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly issued a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on October 28, 2019, describing broad guidelines about how HUD and DOJ will coordinate using the False

House Financial Services Committee Meets to Discuss Improvements to FHA HECM ProgramThe U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance convened a hearing on September 25, 2019, to discuss the federal Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, including recently proposed HECM legislation. The subcommittee hearing, titled “Protecting Seniors: A Review of the FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program,” included testimony