Consumer and Other Financial Services Litigation and Enforcement
We represent financial institutions in the full range of litigation and enforcement proceedings — including regulatory proceedings, complex private litigation, and consumer class actions. We use a team approach to litigation matters, leveraging both our significant experience on financial services laws and the vast litigation experience of Sidley lawyers. This ensures a deep knowledge of the legal issues and the often intricate legal and regulatory history in the financial services area, as well as the perspective of litigators with experience in this and other areas.
Our consumer and other financial services litigation practice includes administrative and supervisory proceedings before regulatory agencies such as the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, CFPB, FTC and New York Department of Financial Services. Our lawyers also are knowledgeable in consumer class action cases involving a variety of bank and financial services practices. The areas in which we have been involved include claims relating to:
- Fair lending and anti-discrimination laws, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act.
- Credit card fees and disclosures, including the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).
- Mortgage origination servicing practices, including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and TILA.
- Federal interest rate preemption, including the “exportation doctrine.”
- Unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices, and false advertising.
- The enforceability and applicability of arbitration agreements.
- Commercial disputes involving financial institutions, such as disputes with service providers.
- Anti-money laundering.
- License proceedings in foreign sanctions cases.
- Interchange Fees. Represent large credit card issuer in antitrust litigation challenging interchange fees paid to banks issuing credit cards in national payment networks. The matter is reported to be the largest antitrust case to date in U.S. history.
- Arbitration. Represented clients in several of the most significant U.S. Supreme Court matters involving the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses. The cases in which we have been involved include Green Tree Fin. Corp. v. Randolph, 531 U.S. 79 (2000); Green Tree Fin. Corp. v. Bazzle, 539 U.S. 444 (2003); and Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49 (2009).
- Restitution. Represented multiple clients in federal banking agency enforcement actions under TILA seeking restitution of interest charges paid on mortgage and credit card loans. We obtained dismissal of one restitution matter after the agency issued a preliminary order of restitution.
- Fair Lending. Represented multiple institutions in fair lending matters referred from federal banking agencies to the U.S. Department of Justice.
- RESPA. Represent a large home warranty company, in class action litigation in Alabama, Texas and California alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. The representation has involved not only litigation but also counseling on ongoing regulatory developments in this area.
- Usury. Represent a bank in class action challenging the interest rates and late fees in a consumer credit program in which the bank originates and sells loan receivables. The issue in the case is the permissibility of a business structure for originating consumer credit that is commonly used today.
- Payment Network Liability. Represented payment network in litigation in Alabama in which the plaintiff attempted to hold the network liable for child pornography because the payment network was allegedly involved in payments accepted at internet websites. A motion to dismiss was granted prior to any discovery.
- Currency Conversion. Represented large credit card issuer in antitrust and disclosure claims about the use of credit cards for foreign transactions. The case involved complex procedural and substantive questions, and numerous defendants, and resulted in a class settlement.
- Firm Offer of Credit Litigation. Represented a large creditor in a series of cases challenging the propriety of “firm offers of credit” extended to consumer. A favorable decision in one of these cases began the end of a series of cases that had plagued the entire consumer credit industry.
- Mortgage Servicing. Represented larger mortgage servicers in numerous class actions challenging loan origination and servicing practices, including claims involving various servicing fees, reconveyance of mortgage liens, forced placed insurance and bankruptcy handling practices.
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Defended numerous class action lawsuits involving the use of blast-faxing, text messaging and the restrictions on the use of autodialers.