Retail Financial Services REGULATORY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Our lawyers leverage their extensive federal- and state-level experience to guide clients through the complex array of rules and regulations related to retail and consumer financial services.


Banks, credit card issuers, finance companies, auto lenders, mortgage lenders, originators and servicers, retailers, payment processors, debt collectors, consumer reporting agencies, FinTech companies, mortgage lenders, and small business lenders look to WilmerHale for counsel on a wide range of issues arising from applicable statutes, rules and regulations. WilmerHale is proud to count the leading companies in each of these industries as clients, including many of the largest retail banks, card issuers and captive auto finance companies, numerous major players in the mortgage markets, prominent national consumer reporting agencies, and several emerging and established technology companies. The firm's Retail Financial Services Practice has been recognized by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers, among other leading publications.  

Contacts

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Brown, Reginald J.

Reginald J. Brown

Chair, Financial Institutions Group

+1 202 663 6430 (t)

reginald.brown@wilmerhale.com

Gutierrez, Franca Harris

Franca Harris Gutierrez

Vice Chair, Financial Institutions Practice Group

+1 202 663 6557 (t)

franca.gutierrez@wilmerhale.com

Adegbile, Debo

Debo P. Adegbile

Partner

+1 212 295 6717 (t)

debo.adegbile@wilmerhale.com

Berkovitz, Dan

Dan M. Berkovitz

Partner

+1 202 663 6352 (t)

dan.berkovitz@wilmerhale.com

Brown, Reginald J.

Reginald J. Brown

Partner

+1 202 663 6430 (t)

reginald.brown@wilmerhale.com

Cohen, David

David S. Cohen

Partner

+1 202 663 6205 (t)

david.cohen@wilmerhale.com

Donovan, David

David Donovan

Partner

+1 202 663 6868 (t)

david.donovan@wilmerhale.com

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Gail Ennis

Partner

+1 202 663 6014 (t)

gail.ennis@wilmerhale.com

Goldblatt, Craig

Craig Goldblatt

Partner

+1 202 663 6483 (t)

craig.goldblatt@wilmerhale.com

Our Practice

Clients seek our advice on the most novel and difficult regulatory issues arising under:

  • the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z;
  • the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA);
  • the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA);
  • the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B;
  • the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) and Regulation E;
  • the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Regulation X;
  • the Fair Credit Billing Act;
  • the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA);
  • the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Regulation M;
  • the Truth in Savings Act and Regulation DD;
  • the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act;
  • the Military Lending Act;
  • payment system network rules;
  • the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA) and Regulation M;
  • Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD);
  • state consumer protection and credit laws; and
  • the prohibitions on unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (UDAAP) and unfair and deceptive practices (UDAP) under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act and its many state counterparts.

Our team regularly advises clients on regulatory and other issues relating to new and novel products. We track federal legislative developments involving consumer credit matters, analyze legislative proposals and prepare legislative materials, and are actively involved in federal rulemaking matters involving consumer credit. We also advise clients on significant matters involving their relationships with payment systems organizations.

Additionally, our attorneys conduct institution-wide audits of regulatory compliance, address issues arising from the acquisition of loan portfolios from other lenders, and advise clients on contractual provisions, including the use of arbitration provisions as an alternative to litigation.

Clients facing investigations and enforcement actions look to us for representation in front of federal and state regulators responsible for enforcing consumer financial protection laws, including representation in front of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB; learn more about our CFPB Practice), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, state banking regulators, state attorneys general and other governmental regulatory bodies (learn more about our Banking Controversy Practice). 

Our team has advised clients on retail financial regulatory risk in connection with a variety of business transactions (learn more about our Business Transactions Practice), and has counseled startup financial technology (FinTech) companies with respect to applicable retail financial services regulations on a federal and state level (learn more about our FinTech Practice).

Experience

We counsel companies from a wide range of industries on retail and consumer financial services rules and regulations. Our experience includes:

  • counseling leading auto finance companies in reviewing compliance and preparing for CFPB supervision as “larger participants” in the market for auto finance, and advising major auto lenders on a wide variety of regulatory issues relating to repossession, replevin, security interests under the UCC, sworn documents and collections practices, consumer leasing, the development of new and novel product offerings, and numerous other topics. Our attorneys have also advised auto lenders on fair lending issues, including with respect to CFPB investigations of dealer markup (learn more about our Anti-Discrimination and Fair Lending Practice); 
  • advising leading bank and nonbank mortgage companies on implementation of the numerous new regulations and requirements placed on the mortgage industry since the financial crisis. WilmerHale has been at the forefront of recent changes in the mortgage markets, from negotiating and working to implement the National Mortgage Settlement and Independent Foreclosure Reviews for leading banks through participation in the CFPB's mortgage rule writing processes, and now into implementation, examination and enforcement. The firm has counseled a number of large banks and other financial institutions on a variety of mortgage-related matters, including the interpretation and implementation of new ability-to-repay and servicing rules, the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule, and GSE underwriting requirements. We have also advised mortgage lenders on fair lending issues (learn more about our Anti-Discrimination and Fair Lending Practice);
  • assisting student loan originators and servicers in investigations on both the federal and state level regarding their most important regulatory issues and inquiries. We have also advised clients on existing and anticipated Department of Education and CFPB rules;
  • counseling card issuers on difficult issues arising under TILA and Regulation Z, FACTA, EFTA and Regulation E, and other applicable laws and regulations. We have long had one of the leading payments practices in the country, and also advise card issuers on fair lending, debt sales and debt collection, the CARD Act, and in preparation for the CFPB's prepaid card rule. We have also advised payment processors on requirements, including e-sign arrangements, EFTA and Regulation E compliance, state-level licensing and regulatory requirements, and compliance with self-regulatory agencies such as the National Automated Clearing House Association and the rules of the leading payment networks;
  • advising prominent national credit reporting agencies on their obligations in a variety of matters, including under the FCRA, and counseling furnishers of consumer report information on numerous issues relating to their policies and procedures for ensuring accuracy of furnished information;  
  • advising traditional third-party debt collectors and debt buyers on FDCPA requirements, as well as the prohibitions on UDAP and UDAAP. WilmerHale has represented these companies in governmental investigations and assisted first-party creditors in adapting to expectations that they will conduct their collections operations in accordance with the principles reflected in the FDCPA;
  • assisting national banks, credit unions and state-chartered depository institutions with virtually every aspect of their retail operations and the full range of federal consumer financial law. Our Financial Institutions Regulatory Advice Practice has extensive experience counseling clients in the organization, regulation and supervision of banks, thrifts, their holding companies and affiliated companies. We provide guidance on all aspects of state and federal banking laws, and regularly assist clients in all aspects of their relationships with federal and state regulatory agencies. Our team regularly advises financial institutions during complex examination, supervision and enforcement matters; on questions about the nature and extent of permissible powers under various financial institution charters and licenses; and on issues of regulatory capital (learn more about our Regulatory Advice Practice);
  • advising retail clients from across different sales industries that include installment contracts on compliance with statutes like the CLA and TILA. We have also assisted retailers with requirements for acceptance of payments; and
  • counseling mature and emerging FinTech companies and the investor community on complex issues of state and federal law. We have represented companies developing new payment technologies, mobile payments, marketplace lending, digital currency and blockchain, among others (learn more about our FinTech Practice).