Mayer Brown lawyers have substantial experience counseling and representing bank and non-bank consumer financial services providers in a wide variety of matters involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). We have a proven track record of helping companies minimize legal, regulatory and reputational risks. When necessary, we vigorously defend our clients’ interests in regulatory enforcement actions and private litigation.
Our extensive experience working in the regulatory, enforcement, litigation and public policy arena, coupled with our lawyers’ specific experience working at, and appearing before, the CFPB, render us uniquely qualified to help banks, finance companies, marketplace lenders, servicers, retailers and others subject to the CFPB’s jurisdiction navigate the CFPB’s rules, bulletins, examinations and enforcement actions, as well as related private litigation.
Our team of lawyers, including a former deputy enforcement director from the CFPB, is well positioned to help clients:
- Understand their obligations pursuant to the various federal consumer financial laws the CFPB implements and enforces, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act’s) prohibition on unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices (UDAAP)
- Adapt to new regulations and other informal guidance issued by the CFPB
- Prepare for CFPB examinations and respond to Potential Action and Request for Response (PARR) letters
- Respond to CFPB enforcement investigations, including responding to civil investigatory demands (CIDs), advocating before the agency, negotiating settlements or litigating as necessary
- Pursue no-action letters from the CFPB
- Defend against follow-on private litigation, including class actions
- Shape regulatory and legislative policy through advocacy before the CFPB, other key regulatory agencies and key congressional committees and offices
We provide sophisticated advice and practical guidance on the full array of federal and state laws governing consumer financial services. This advice covers the design of innovative products and services, delivery methods, advertising, telemarketing, licensing, origination, servicing, privacy and the significant challenges presented to all consumer financial services providers by the CFPB’s UDAAP authority.
Examinations, Investigations and Enforcement
Our lawyers have extensive experience counseling clients facing supervisory examinations or enforcement investigations by the CFPB. Our experience includes assisting companies in preparing for CFPB examinations, responding to supervisory requests for information, responding to PARR letters indicating that enforcement action is possible and implementing corrective actions. We also have substantial experience representing a broad array of companies in all aspects of CFPB investigations, including responding to CIDs, preparing for testimony, advocating before the agency, preparing Notice and Opportunity to Respond and Advise (NORA) responses and negotiating favorable settlements.
Mayer Brown’s lawyers have defended hundreds of consumer class actions in federal and state courts relating to financial services—including many that have been prompted by or relate to governmental investigations. We frequently defeat these lawsuits by achieving early dismissals or summary judgments. We have successfully opposed class certification and have tried such cases to verdict.
Mayer Brown’s Government Relations & Public Law practice contains a number of high-profile former government officials. Our lawyers and lobbyists were closely engaged in the legislative debate around the Dodd-Frank Act and subsequently have helped clients advance a variety of priority issues and concerns through regulatory comment letters, congressional testimony and timely advocacy in both formal and informal processes.
We have represented or are representing:
- A prominent online real estate platform in a CFPB investigation involving its marketing and advertising practices, which allows for mortgage lenders and real estate agents to advertise jointly.
- A lender in a CFPB investigation into the company’s loan originator compensation practices.
- A private equity firm in a CFPB investigation inquiring into the firm’s oversight and exercise of control over a large mortgage lender that is the subject of enforcement proceedings involving alleged Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) violations.
- A federal savings and loan in a CFPB fair lending investigation. The matter involves a review of possible redlining practices.
- A bank in a CFPB investigation concerning its consumer collection calling practices.
- An online and catalog retailer that offers credit to its customers in a CFPB investigation of the company’s debt collection and debt sale practices.
- A national background check company in a CFPB investigation into the company’s compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in connection with its compilation of consumer reports, including those that focus on criminal backgrounds for employment purposes.
- A mortgage servicer in a CFPB investigation and in negotiating a consent order. Advised the mortgage servicer in connection with obligations arising under CFPB Consent Order.
- A for-profit school that received a third-party CID from the CFPB in connection with the CFPB’s investigation of the accreditation of for-profit schools.
- A national mortgage servicing company in a CFPB investigation focusing on the company’s servicing practices, particularly with respect to its handling of loans that the company had purchased from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after all loss mitigation options had been exhausted. The investigation was closed with no action taken.
- A large national bank in a CFPB investigation involving the bank’s payment processing activities for certain customers through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system. The investigation was closed with no action taken.
- A large consumer financial services company in a CFPB investigation inquiring into the company’s compliance with the FCRA and its sale and marketing practices. The investigation was closed with no action taken.
Additionally, we have:
- Prepared PARR responses for institutions on matters including mortgage and auto loan origination and servicing practices, fair lending and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) compliance, credit reporting, and debt collection.
- Helped prepare and advise companies on self-disclosures to the CFPB concerning credit reporting and payment processing issues.