Krista Cooley is a partner in Mayer Brown's Washington DC office and a member of the Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement practice. Krista concentrates her practice on matters related to consumer financial products and services and advises clients on compliance with federal and state laws governing licensing, approvals and practices of financial institutions, mortgage lenders, consumer finance companies, loan servicers, payment system providers and secondary market participants. She also represents clients in federal and state investigations, enforcement proceedings and supervisory matters. She has more than nineteen years of experience in:
- Counseling clients on federal and state consumer credit laws.
- Defending companies in connection with federal and state governmental audits, investigations and enforcement proceedings.
- Advising clients on public policy issues related to housing finance issues.
Areas of Focus
- Enforcement: Krista has extensive experience representing clients subject to government audits, investigations and enforcement proceedings before, among others, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Justice (DOJ), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and state banking departments in cases involving the False Claims Act, the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act, Mortgagee Review Board proceedings and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) enforcement matters.
- Licensing and Approvals: Krista advises clients on compliance with the requirements of federal and state laws governing the licensing, approvals and practices of brokers, lenders, purchasers and servicers of mortgages and other consumer loan products, as well as sales finance companies, money service businesses and collection agencies. She assists clients in navigating the complex state and federal licensing and approval process in connection with, among others, new business lines, legal entity conversions, restructuring and change of control transactions.
- Regulatory Compliance: Krista advises clients about federal and state consumer credit and protection laws and regulations, including RESPA, FHA, VA, USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS) and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) requirements. She reviews and analyzes existing and proposed business arrangements for compliance with federal and state law requirements and drafts related agreements and disclosures. She performs regulatory compliance due diligence, with particular emphasis on FHA-insured origination and servicing requirements.
Other Professional Activities
Krista is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences sponsored by industry-related groups on various legal issues relating to consumer financial products. She has written articles on various issues relating to consumer financial products, including federal and state consumer regulatory compliance issues.
She is an active member of the Mortgage Bankers Association, where she is a member of the Loan Production, Loan Administration, State Legislative and Regulatory Compliance and Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Committees, as well as the FHA Subcommittee, and is also actively involved in Housing Policy Council initiatives. Krista is also a member of Mayer Brown's Committee on Professional Advancement and co-chaired the Washington, DC office's Hiring Committee for four years.
- Represent multiple FHA-insured lenders in connection with FCA investigations by the US Attorney’s Office and the DOJ involving FHA mortgage insurance, including the origination and servicing of FHA loans and the reverse mortgage, or HECM, program.
- Represent multiple clients in responding to inquiries from HUD's Mortgagee Review Board, Quality Assurance Division, Office of Inspector General, National Servicing Center, and Single Family Claims Branch in connection with the origination and servicing of FHA-insured loans and the offering of loss mitigation to delinquent borrowers.
- Represent several mortgage lenders in responding to inquiries from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the VA’s Office of Inspector General regarding the origination and refinancing of VA-guaranteed loan transactions.
- Represented Ginnie Mae approved issuers in responding to notices of violation involving assertions of non-compliance with Ginnie Mae requirements and guaranty agreement provisions.
- Represented multiple FHA servicers in responding to HUD demands for reimbursement of FHA partial claim payments.
- Served as counsel to a consortium of mortgage lenders and trade associations on proposals by HUD to amend FHA certification language and its Defect Taxonomy to address concerns regarding the use of the False Claims Act for violations of FHA requirements, as well as advised several mortgage loan originators in interpreting these amendments.
- Assisted a client in responding to inquiries from HUD in connection with FHA-insured loans, including multi-million dollar requests for indemnification and double damages under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act.
- Counsel FHA originators and servicers in navigating HUD's Office of Appeals and administrative offset process.
- Assisted in representing a client in global settlement discussions with the federal and state attorneys general involving loan servicing practices.
Licensing and Approvals
- Assist lenders and servicers of consumer loan products with complex legal entity conversion, restructuring and change of control transactions to secure consents and approvals from state and federal consumer finance regulatory agencies. Also assist with coordinating secretary of state filings associated with such matters.
- Analyze licensing and material compliance obligations under state consumer credit laws for lenders, servicers and purchasers of various classes of consumer financial assets, including residential mortgage loans, secured and unsecured consumer loans, and retail installment contracts.
- Advise mortgage lenders and servicers on compliance with state licensing and regulatory matters on a nationwide basis, including Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) management, Mortgage Call Report (MCR) filings, annual renewals, and other routine licensing maintenance requirements.
- Assist clients with preparing and submitting de novo and/or reactivation applications for approval with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, HUD, the VA, and the USDA Rural Housing Service to originate, sell, acquire, and/or service residential loans.
- Analyze state mortgage finance licensing and federal agency approval requirements in connection with alternative investment options and debt structures.
- Manage renewals for various consumer finance licensees.
- Routinely advise FHA-approved mortgagees in making their annual certifications and on reportable matters through the Notice of Material Event feature in the Lender Assessment Enterprise Portal.
- Assist in handling state licensing, corporate name change, and branch relocation projects for mortgage lenders and servicers, agricultural lenders and other consumer finance providers.
- Advise mortgage lenders and servicers on compliance with requirements related to the origination and servicing of loans insured or guaranteed by FHA (including Home Equity Conversion Mortgages), VA or Rural Housing Service.
- Advise residential mortgage servicers on federal and state initiatives designed to provide assistance to borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 National Emergency, including the CARES Act and the federal housing agencies’ requirements implementing forbearance and loss mitigation alternatives for such consumers.
- Conducted federal and state regulatory analysis for a reverse mortgage lender regarding product development for proprietary reverse mortgage products.
- Advise multiple VA-approved lenders on compliance with VA requirements regarding mortgage refinance loan transactions.
- Advise numerous clients on compliance with FHA servicing requirements involving default servicing, loss mitigation, pre-foreclosure sales, property preservation, interest curtailment, and insurance claim filings involving conveyance claims and claims without conveyance of title.
- Acted as regulatory counsel for multiple servicers in connection with the submission of claims and the purchasing of loans through HUD's Single Family Note Sale program, also known as the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program.
- Counseled multiple clients on Ginnie Mae pooling and servicing requirements.
- Conducted comprehensive reviews of compliance with FHA servicing requirements, including Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) servicing requirements, for FHA-approved servicers.
- Routinely counsel mortgage originators and servicers in the assessment and reporting of Quality Control findings of non-compliance with FHA requirements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Advise loan originators and servicers on regulatory compliance requirements involving reverse loans and home equity conversion mortgages.
- Routinely advise multiple FHA-approved mortgagees on the annual recertification process and drafts policies and procedures in connection with the recertification process.
- Regularly develop and enhance quality control plans and compliance policies & procedures for FHA-approved lenders to ensure compliance with HUD origination and servicing requirements.
- Assisted as regulatory counsel in connection with various financings and investments in consumer assets, including mortgage loans and other consumer product service contracts.
American University Washington College of Law, JD, cum laude
Note and Comment Editor, American University Law Review
Pennsylvania State University, BA