Consumer Financial Protection Bureau SECURITIES

As one of the preeminent CFPB practices in the United States, our team helps leading banks and financial services companies resolve CFPB issues and public enforcement actions.


WilmerHale's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Practice is consistently recognized as one of the leading CFPB practices in the nation by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers and other leading publications. We represent banks, nonbank financial institutions, card issuers, mortgage and student loan servicing companies, consumer reporting agencies, emerging payments companies, and other financial services providers subject to the CFPB's oversight in public enforcement matters. Our attorneys advise clients in nonpublic CFPB examinations, provide guidance on the interpretation and application of CFPB regulations, and counsel funds that invest in the consumer finance sector.

Clients come to our seasoned team for assistance with many challenges presented by the CFPB's broad regulatory, examination and enforcement authority. Our practice leaders include former senior CFPB personnel who helped design, build and set priorities for the CFPB during and after its inception. The unique insight they provide is crucial when addressing matters with an agency that has a short history, a complex set of laws to enforce, and a mission that has led to increased scrutiny of every corner of the financial services industry.   

Contacts

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Gordon_Michael

Michael E. Gordon

Chair, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Practice

+1 202 663 6214 (t)

michael.gordon@wilmerhale.com

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

Our Practice

Regulatory Advice: Clients depend on us to anticipate and guide compliance with new and revised regulations issued by the CFPB, and we closely follow issues that will be the target of future CFPB rulemakings. In addition to providing regulatory advice, our attorneys also conduct privileged reviews of compliance with laws and regulations within the CFPB's jurisdiction, draft policies and procedures, and advocate with the CFPB for future rulemakings and regulatory changes to existing rules. 

We also advise both investors and investor targets regarding CFPB regulatory risks in major transactions. For more information, please visit our Retail Financial Services page.

Supervision: We help banks and nonbanks prepare for and respond to CFPB examinations. These efforts have included conducting mock examinations to identify and remedy issues prior to CFPB examinations, working closely with clients during examinations to address particular requests and issues, drafting responses to examination findings, and preparing successful Potential Action and Request for Response (PARR) letter responses on high-risk issues. Our advocacy has led to supervisory resolutions rather than public enforcement actions in several cases.

Internal Investigations: Whether responding to an internal detection of issues or simply preparing for the CFPB's next areas of focus, we help clients stay ahead of emerging regulatory and legal issues prior to government investigations by identifying and addressing potential issues and remediating customers impacted by those issues. Internal investigations include email and other document review and interviews of employees, resulting in findings, suggested corrective action and customer remediation to ensure clients are prepared for regulatory scrutiny.

Government Investigations and Enforcement: WilmerHale leads the industry in representations before the CFPB for both large financial institutions and newly regulated financial services companies. In fact, WilmerHale has played a leading or supporting role in nearly every CFPB enforcement action against a large national bank since the bureau's inception. Our representation has expanded beyond large banks to include industry leaders in mortgage origination and servicing, student loan origination and servicing, midsized financial institutions, and financial technology companies.
  
We have handled matters raising allegations of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP), and violations of federal law including the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Military Lending Act. Our experience spans the lifecycle of enforcement actions, including:

  • initial informal or formal requests for information;
  • petitions to set aside civil investigative demands;
  • Notice and Opportunity to Respond and Advise submissions;
  • consent order negotiations; and
  • compliance with consent orders.

Litigation: Should supervision and enforcement settlement negotiations not lead to a desirable outcome, our Litigation/Controversy Department, with its in-depth knowledge of governmental and regulatory litigation and long track record of success litigating against the government, is well equipped to litigate against the CFPB. Our litigation attorneys provide litigation risk analyses to clients with respect to any ongoing CFPB investigations, and are prepared to strengthen clients' positions in negotiations with the CFPB. 

Experience

We have handled a variety of CFPB matters for a wide range of clients, including:

  • numerous financial institutions in supervisory matters that were resolved during the nonpublic supervisory process;
  • several major financial institutions in connection with CFPB inquiries regarding its new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rules;
    multiple large mortgage servicers in connection with CFPB investigations relating to mortgage servicing, loss mitigation and mortgage insurance arrangements;
  • a large mortgage servicer in front of the CFPB's Enforcement Division to the point that the CFPB ceased its investigation without taking action;
  • a large bank and card issuer in a CFPB enforcement investigation and enforcement proceeding related to debt sales and debt collection;
  • several major card issuers in separate CFPB enforcement matters concerning add-on products, and we have provided ongoing consent order implementation and compliance counseling;
  • a midsize depository institution in parallel CFPB, FDIC and OCC enforcement actions relating to deposit account products;
  • multiple major leading student loan servicers in CFPB and multistate Attorney General investigations and proceedings in connection with supervisory findings and PARR letters, and we have provided ongoing regulatory advice;
  • major national consumer reporting agencies in connection with the CFPB inquiries; 
  • a large short-term lender in connection with a CFPB inquiry regarding debt collection practices, and we have provided compliance counsel to others in the consumer lending industry;
  • a structured payments company in connection with a CFPB enforcement inquiry raising novel issues of CFPB jurisdiction;
  • emerging FinTech companies in bet-the-company CFPB investigations; and
  • a number of financial institutions in the fair lending context in both enforcement and supervision matters (for more information, visit our Anti-Discrimination and Fair Lending page).