Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has significantly reshaped the regulatory framework for financial institutions, touching nearly every aspect of consumer finance in the years since its creation under the Dodd-Frank Act. It is now more important than ever to closely follow the work of the CFPB, as new leadership has taken over and looks to significantly change the direction and focus of the agency.
With decades of experience in consumer protection laws, our lawyers can help businesses address the far-reaching impacts of CFPB activity. We represent a range of clients across the financial services industry, including banks, marketplace lenders and platforms, auto finance companies, mortgage lenders and servicers, student lenders and servicers, debt collectors, credit reporting agencies, small dollar lenders and payment processors. Working seamlessly across the firm’s many legal disciplines, our lawyers stay ahead of evolving regulatory and enforcement developments, counseling financial institutions on emerging trends and CFPB priorities. If investigations and supervisory actions arise, we work closely with clients to evaluate and enhance compliance methods, meet the demands of an examination and adapt business practices to new or proposed rules.
We bring value to our clients in the following ways:
In-depth enforcement experience: We leverage our substantive knowledge and our enforcement and litigation experience to help clients navigate enforcement matters from inception to resolution, which includes responding to Civil Investigation Demands; representing current and former employees in investigational hearings, drafting responses to Notice and Opportunity to Respond and Advise (NORA) letters, negotiating appropriate resolutions and handling all post-settlement matters.
Proactive approaches to compliance management: The CFPB’s Office of Supervision has broad authority to examine banks and other types of financial institutions. We work with these clients to identify and address potential compliance gaps and program enhancements in order to mitigate the impact of supervisory actions. Our assistance includes conducting mock CFPB examinations, directing comprehensive risk assessments and institution-wide audit assessments, monitoring the flow of information during the exam process, crafting appropriate responses to notice of Potential Action and Request for Response (PARR) letters and Reports of Examination and addressing any items that require corrective action.
Effective dispute resolution strategies: We have more than 30 years of experience representing financial institutions in government litigation and enforcement matters. Our lawyers frequently counsel businesses on ways to successfully manage their exposure to litigation during the course of a CFPB examination. Leveraging our insider perspective and understanding of the issues, we help clients navigate enforcement’s internal processes, rules and structure, applying targeted strategies for swift and effective resolution.
Expansive regulatory capabilities: Our lawyers assist clients with new and innovative products and services that do not fit neatly into existing regulations, the development of policies and programs in connection with enterprise-wide compliance, vendor management and best practices for consumer products and services. In addition, clients seek our advice on interpreting rule amendments, legislative and regulatory proposals and comment letters. Our team engages regularly with senior CFPB staff in the Research, Markets and Regulations division to understand the impact of new and existing rules. We also communicate on a confidential basis with CFPB staff to seek guidance with respect to particular products or services.
Results-driven transactional advice: Applying our extensive knowledge of CFPB activity, we help clients gauge the risk of exposure to supervisory and enforcement measures associated with all types of transactions. For example, we assess the business and reputational consequences associated with acquisitions of loan portfolios and institutions subject to the CFPB’s jurisdiction. Harnessing our global network of resources, we provide tailored advice on structuring transactions and investments that achieve our clients’ strategic business objectives.
A selection of recent engagements include representing:
- Several companies in CFPB enforcement investigations concerning a range of issues, including credit reporting practices and services, payment services and marketing practices.
- Large financial institutions in ongoing and targeted CFPB examination activity.
- A major business for which we obtained closure of a two-year CFPB enforcement investigation with no public action or fine.
- An auto finance company in a joint CFPB and DOJ investigation concerning fair lending and dealer financing practices.
- Several clients with due diligence and regulatory advice concerning potential acquisitions of companies subject to CFPB oversight.