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.

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

FHA Tasked With Improving Reverse Mortgage OversightThe U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published two reports on September 25 identifying several weaknesses in the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) oversight of reverse mortgages made under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program (see GAO-19-702 titled “FHA Needs to Improve Monitoring and Oversight of Loan Outcomes and Servicing”; GAO-19-721T titled “FHA’s

FHA Extends Non-Borrowing Spouse ProtectionsThe United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued Mortgagee Letter 2019-15, in which it announced several modifications to the Mortgagee Optional Election (MOE) Assignment claim process for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) with FHA case numbers assigned before August 4, 2014. As background, the MOE is a foreclosure deferral program that provides

National Credit Union Administration Encourages Banking Hemp Businesses — With Some CaveatsIn December 2018, Congress gave the hemp industry a significant boost by passing the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the cultivation and sale of hemp (i.e., cannabis with a THC content of less than .3%).  The 2018 Farm Bill tasked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with formulating the regulations to govern this burgeoning

FHA Rule Reduces Barriers to Reverse Mortgages for Condominium OwnersAfter a nearly three-year delay, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has finally released an update to its FHA condominium rules. The new rules, which take effect October 15, 2019, allow for FHA insurance approval on individual condominium units and ease burdensome FHA-insured reverse mortgage application requirements on condos, expanding access

Some of Florida's Regulatory Restrictions on Cannabis Industry Could Soon Be a Thing of the PastOn January 17, 2018, Florida’s new governor, Ron DeSantis, delivered news that could supercharge the growth of Florida’s medical-cannabis industry. Governor DeSantis indicated he may drop the State’s appeal from a trial court’s ruling that the statutory cap on the number of licenses for “medical marijuana treatment centers” (MMTCs), and the requirement that MMTCs be

<i srcset=Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper Provides Good News, Bad News, and Instructions to the Cannabis Industry and the Financial Institutions Serving It” width=”300″ height=”200″For years, the “legal” cannabis industry – operating in states that have legalized cannabis under state law despite its long-standing prohibition under federal law – and the financial institutions that serve