Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Working Group SECURITIES

We have exceptional knowledge and broad experience in dealing with CFPB issues in the regulatory, examination and enforcement contexts.

WilmerHale has one of the leading Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) practices in the nation. By bringing together seasoned attorneys from our Litigation, Regulatory and Securities Departments to focus on the CFPB, we have been able to assist our clients with the many new challenges posed by the CFPB's broad regulatory, examination and enforcement authority.

Regulatory—We have helped clients anticipate and comply with the enormous number of new and revised regulations issued by the CFPB. We are also closely following the issues that will be the target of future CFPB rulemaking, including debt collection, deposit advance products and prepaid cards.

Examination—We have assisted 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 assist them in dealing with particular requests and issues, and drafting responses to examination findings.

Enforcement—We have represented a host of financial institutions that find themselves subject to the scrutiny of CFPB Enforcement. Our experience spans the lifecycle of enforcement actions including:

  • Initial informal or formal requests for information;
  • Petitions to set aside Civil Investigative demands;
  • NORA submissions;
  • Consent Order negotiations; and
  • Compliance with Consent Orders.

We have represented many of the largest banks in the United States in both public matters and, more often, in finding ways to resolve CFPB concerns without a public disposition.


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Brown, Reginald J.

Reginald J. Brown

Chair, Financial Institutions Practice Group

+1 202 663 6430 (t)


WilmerHale’s CFPB Working Group combines the diverse areas of legal experience necessary to help clients navigate this new regulatory regime. This practice brings together our experience with bank and financial services regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters with our unparalleled understanding of Washington DC and the federal government.

The CFPB Working Group’s in-depth knowledge of financial institutions, corporate governance, and regulatory compliance and enforcement provides our clients with the strategic counsel they need to successfully navigate this new approach to consumer protection. Our clients also benefit from the bipartisan government experience of more than 100 WilmerHale lawyers, who have served in the Treasury Department, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the White House, on Capitol Hill, and in the Department of Justice (DOJ), among others.

Regulatory Issues

Our experience spans the full range of regulatory issues relating to banks, thrifts, bank and thrift holding companies, and other financial institutions operating in the United States, as well as other businesses falling within the jurisdiction of the Bureau, including, among others, credit card issuers, mortgage brokers, finance companies, card and payment processors, debt collectors, credit bureaus, and various other non-bank providers of financial services.

We assist these institutions in all aspects of their relationships with federal and state regulators, including reporting requirements, requests for interpretive and exemptive relief, preparing for examinations and responses to Reports of Examination. We advise on compliance with all consumer protection statutes, including the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as well as payment system network rules and state consumer protection and credit laws.

Our practice also covers a wide variety of issues relating to unfair and deceptive practices under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act and its many state counterparts, as well as matters related to advertising of credit and leases, exportation of usury rates, insurance, and similar topics. Additionally, we regularly advise clients on regulatory and other issues relating to new products as well as counseling on significant matters involving their relationships with payment systems organizations.

We 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.

Enforcement Issues

We have long been active in defending financial institutions and individual officers and directors who are threatened with enforcement action by federal and state regulators. We also represent financial institutions in connection with regulatory examinations of retail lending and related operations, and in connection with responses to Congressional and DOJ inquiries. We have a broad range of experience, and a demonstrated track record of success, in obtaining the best possible outcomes for our clients in such matters.

Our attorneys regularly appear before the Federal Reserve Board, the OCC, the FDIC, the DOJ, the FTC, the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This experience gives us both an understanding of the procedures involved in regulatory review and examination and substantive experience with the issues Bureau-governed entities potentially face. We have also represented clients in connection with high profile state Attorney General investigations.

Our interdisciplinary group includes lawyers from our Securities and Litigation Departments who advise on investigations and enforcement actions brought against financial institutions concerning potential violations of consumer protection statutes, the federal securities laws, securities disclosure issues (which may arise at the bank or thrift regulatory agencies as well as at the SEC), accounting issues, allegations of fraud and self-dealing by insiders and others, and other areas where the securities laws are implicated. We have also advised banks facing SEC enforcement action on the collateral consequences of those proceedings, including the impact on the institutions’ relationships with their primary federal banking agencies.

Legislative and Regulatory Solutions

Clients regularly turn to us when seeking counsel with respect to the application of regulations, including help with rule amendments, no-action positions and exemptions. We cover federal legislative developments involving consumer credit matters on a regular basis, analyzing legislative proposals and preparing legislative materials, and we are actively involved in federal rulemaking matters involving consumer credit. We advise financial institutions on legislative and regulatory proposals, including drafting comment letters and meeting with senior representatives of the relevant agencies. Since before its enactment, we have been assisting many clients in understanding the implications of the Dodd-Frank Act and monitoring its implementation.

Publications & News


February 3, 2015

The CFPB’s Enforcement of the Prohibition on Abusive Acts and Practices

An article by Eric J. Mogilnicki and Eamonn K. Moran published in Bloomberg BNA's Banking Report on February 3, 2015.

November 21, 2014

CFPB Calls for Changes to Mortgage Servicing with Proposed Rule

On November 20, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed changes to the rules governing mortgage servicing and foreclosures—Regulation X, which implements the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and Regulation Z, the implementing regulation for the Truth in Lending Act.

November 17, 2014

CFPB Releases Long-Awaited Proposal on Prepaid Account Products

On November 13, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a proposed rule to extend certain federal consumer protections to the prepaid market.

November 17, 2014

Proposed Prepaid Rule Unlikely To Stem Growth

An article by Franca Harris Gutierrez, Bradford Hardin and Maury Riggan, published by Law360 on November 17, 2014.

October 28, 2014

What is the Statute of Limitations for a UDAAP Claim Under the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Act?

An article by Matt Martens, Jamie Dycus and Daniel Kearney, published in the October 28, 2014 edition of Bloomberg BNA's Banking Report, Vol. 103, No. 891.

October 20, 2014

The Uncertain Utility Of A CFPB No-Action Letter

An article by Eric J. Mogilnicki and Eamonn K. Moran, appearing in the October 20, 2014, edition of Law360’s Consumer Protections and Public Policy sections.

November 1, 2013

WilmerHale Among U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” and Again Named International Arbitration “Law Firm of the Year”

The 2014 edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list names WilmerHale as “Law Firm of the Year” in International Arbitration—this is the second consecutive year that the firm has won this honor—and honors WilmerHale as a first-tier law firm in 27 national and 60 metro-area rankings.

October 31, 2013

OCC Releases New Guidance on Third-Party Risk Management

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) issued on October 30, 2013 updated guidance (OCC Bulletin 2013-29) on managing the risks presented by vendor and other third-party relationships.

August 27, 2013

WilmerHale Broker-Dealer Attorneys Present Webinar on The Final Guidance

WilmerHale Partner Paul Architzel and Special Counsel Gail Bernstein presented a Thomson Reuters webinar on August 21, 2013, addressing the recent provisions made by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to the Commodity Exchange Act affecting the cross-border application of Dodd-Frank swaps.

June 24, 2013

Supreme Court Agrees To Address Scope of Recess Appointments Power

This morning the Supreme Court granted review of the D.C. Circuit’s decision holding that President Obama’s recess appointment of three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) violated the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause.