2008 was a watershed year in both the financial markets and the American legal landscape. In as much as the August 2007 equity crisis foreshadowed the coming near collapse of the global financial services industry, law firm convergence and alternative fee arrangements signaled a change as to who would represent and defend financial institutions in the United States. As the Great Recession swept across America with historic levels of defaults, foreclosures, bankruptcies and litigation, the rise of the super regional law firms began to emerge – and Bradley rose to the vanguard of counseling and defending some of the country’s most prominent financial institutions.
Our Financial Services Litigation and Compliance Team offers the full spectrum of legal services to banks, bank holding companies, mortgage servicers, home mortgage lenders, and other consumer finance companies.
The firm’s litigators have been involved in the defense of hundreds of cases brought against banks, consumer finance companies, and mortgage companies concerning a variety of business practices across the country. The cases we have defended have involved a broad range of causes of action including TILA, HOEPA, FDCPA, FCRA, RESPA, RICO, predatory lending, mortgage related fees and services, forced-place insurance, insurance packing, and state deceptive trade practice laws. In addition, the firm’s attorneys have litigated all facets of the mortgage industry: origination, warehouse lending, pooling and servicing agreements, investor disputes, servicing matters, commercial mortgages, settlement service issues, mortgage fraud, as well as the defense of class actions based on similar claims.
On the compliance and regulatory side, we advise clients on matters involving every aspect of their operations, from transactional and corporate issues to lending, compliance, and working with government programs. Lawyers in the group counsel mortgage companies in the areas of qualification and licensing, disclosure requirements, anti-predatory lending legislation, advertising, affiliate relationships, and complying with federal statutes and regulations. Our trial lawyers work closely with lawyers from the firm’s banking and financial services practice group to stay on top of the latest statutory and regulatory developments in this field. We also provide extensive services to our clients in reviewing third party vendors and legal service providers for regulatory and legal compliance, having conducted such reviews throughout the country.
Our attorneys are among the most experienced in the country, have spent their careers advising clients in this niche sector, partnering with them as the current legal and regulatory environment has developed and changed. This gives our attorneys a unique ability to create practical solutions to the challenges our clients face as they do business.
GOVERNMENT ENFORCEMENT AND INVESTIGATIONS
Bradley represents financial institutions in both federal and state investigations, banking and regulatory examinations, qui tam actions filed under the provisions of the False Claims Act, and other government enforcement actions. Over the past few years, Bradley has represented multiple clients in multi-state banking, government investor, HUD, federal banking regulator and, most recently, CFPB examinations.
On behalf of multiple clients, Bradley has responded to informal and formal inquiries by state attorneys generals (both individual state subpoenas and multi-state CIDs), Department of Justice, HUD Office of Inspector General and the US Attorney’s office. The overwhelming majority of these investigation are resolved prior to a lawsuit being filed and a very high percentage are resolved through direct meetings with the government.
For decades, Bradley has advised its financial institution clients on all aspects of regulatory compliance, including federal and state banking laws and regulations. Bradley’s services have included conducting reviews of account records, policies, procedures, forms, and all levels of operation for financial institutions for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. In the last several years of heightened regulation and regulatory oversight, Bradley has also acted in an advisory capacity, assisting its clients in responding to regulatory inquiries as well as in developing more robust compliance and “best-practice” programs, often under the guidance of pending consent orders or regulatory directives.
As part of its client services, Bradley specializes in large scale and often urgent projects for its financial services clients. These projects vary widely but are almost always in response to regulatory inquiries, media issues, or government enforcement issues. Bradley has the unique ability to deploy large numbers of trained attorneys and paralegals to review mortgage loan files and mortgage servicing documents and to triage issues on an immediate basis. Past projects have included reviews of robo-signing allegations, SCRA compliance issues, and multiple 50-state reviews of legal questions affecting the mortgage industry. They have also included the organized removal of thousands of client files from failing foreclosure firms and the oversight of the transition of those files to new firms.
For more information about Bradley’s Financial Services Litigation and Compliance Team, please visit bradley.com.