K&L Gates' Financial Services practice area includes one of the largest and most experienced consumer financial services practices in the United States. The Consumer Financial Services group comprises a core group of more than 35 attorneys and 12 regulatory compliance analysts throughout the country. Nearly 100 lawyers work in closely related practice groups.
The group divides its work among transactional, regulatory compliance, government enforcement, licensing and approvals, public policy and governmental affairs, and litigation (including class action defense). With an exceptional depth of knowledge and experience, the group leads the way in assisting clients with navigating the complex array of federal and state laws that regulate their businesses, structuring transactions, and defending private and government actions.
Our strong presence in Washington, D.C. enhances our ability to work with the various federal agencies that supervise financial service providers. Our close proximity to those agencies is particularly useful in our efforts to obtain agency approvals and defend against administrative enforcement actions. A number of our lawyers have worked at various federal and state agencies including the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and state Offices of the Attorney General, and maintain good working relationships with senior regulatory officials and key industry leaders.
Our clients represent a cross-section of the financial services industry, including traditional financial services companies (such as depository institutions, mortgage banks, consumer finance companies, loan servicers, broker dealers, investment banks, money services businesses, prepaid card issuers and sellers, and payment systems providers), as well as non-financial companies that might incidentally provide financial services to their customers (such as homebuilders, retailers, title insurers and agencies, real estate brokers, relocation service companies, and technology companies).
We also represent companies that support the consumer financial services industry, but which do not provide services directly to consumers. For example, we represent venture capital firms and hedge funds that invest in providers of consumer financial services, rating agencies, vendor and appraisal management companies, technology vendors to the financial services industry, and document preparation companies.
We handle all types of transactions in the mortgage banking, prepaid card, payments systems, and consumer finance areas, using our extensive knowledge of the regulatory and business environment in which our clients operate to best represent their interests and protect them from risk. We represent clients in connection with:
When necessary we work with our colleagues in the corporate, securities and derivatives, structured finance, outsourcing, and intellectual property practices, synthesizing our knowledge of the mortgage banking and consumer finance industry with their specific proficiencies.
State and federal regulatory compliance is an integral part of our Mortgage Banking and Consumer Financial Products practice. With respect to federal compliance issues, K&L Gates lawyers have worked at various federal agencies and are fully conversant in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Housing Act (FHA), Flood Disaster Protection Act (FDPA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), National Flood Insurance Protection Act (NFIP), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and the USA PATRIOT Act.
Our state law practice includes researching and analyzing mortgage banking, real property, money transmitter, payment systems, consumer protection, and consumer finance laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Our lawyers understand the interplay between state and federal law, and routinely counsel clients on federal preemption and related issues. We also analyze policies and procedures for compliance with applicable federal and state laws, prepare industry comment letters on proposed regulations, conduct due diligence, conduct in-house training seminars, and design and evaluate enterprise risk, due diligence, and quality control systems. In addition, we assist companies with implementing the latest federal and state laws and regulations.
K&L Gates routinely represents banks, thrifts, mortgage lenders and servicers, prepaid card issuers and sellers, and other providers of consumer financial services in avoiding and defending administrative and other governmental audits, investigations, and proceedings. Our depth of knowledge of federal and state regulatory requirements, coupled with our experience with how lenders, servicers, and other consumer financial products providers operate within these requirements, enables us to effectively communicate with both regulators and our clients to navigate through complex enforcement matters. We handle FHA/VA/GNMA audits, examinations, administrative proceedings, and Inspector General investigations, consisting of claims for indemnification, civil money penalties, and withdrawals of governmental approval (including suspensions, debarments, and probations). We represent lending and servicing institutions that are subject to examinations, investigations, administrative proceedings, and lawsuits initiated by the FRB, OTS, FDIC, HUD, state banking authorities, and state attorneys general involving alleged violations of state and federal consumer credit laws, including RESPA. We also defend clients in DOJ investigations involving alleged False Claims Act violations and FTC investigations involving alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act and other federal consumer credit laws.
We also regularly assist clients in avoiding enforcement actions by counseling on federal and state regulatory requirements, performing due diligence and quality control reviews, and working with lenders and servicers to address regulatory compliance concerns in a way that takes into consideration the practical business considerations of consumer financial products providers. Our command of complex formal and informal regulatory requirements and the compliance expectations of various federal and state agencies enable us to provide effective and useful advice on structuring policies, procedures, and business processes designed to adhere to the relevant requirements.
K&L Gates represents banks, thrifts, mortgage companies, consumer finance companies, and other financial institutions in class action and individual litigation matters throughout the United States. Our competitive advantage is the scope and depth of our litigation experience and our geographic reach, combined with our substantive knowledge of consumer credit issues.
K&L Gates lawyers regularly defend banks, mortgage lenders, loan servicers, and consumer financial services providers in federal and state consumer class action litigation throughout the country. These cases have included putative national classes, and state and multi-state classes. They have concerned challenges to financial institutions under various federal consumer protection statutes such as the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Credit Repair Organizations Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), as well as under state unfair and deceptive practices statutes, including California’s Unfair Competition Law.