Through his actions and collective experience, Haydn Richards has demonstrated that he is one of the foremost leaders in state financial services law and financial services licensing matters. Haydn is a nationally recognized leader on mortgage and financial services licensing matters, including counseling clients relating to the formation of financial services companies and strategic acquisitions. He regularly interacts on behalf of financial services companies with federal and state regulatory agencies, both in adversarial and non-adversarial matters. Haydn counsels clients on CFPB compliance, federal and state origination-related issues, as well as all aspects of the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act, financial services licensing matters and the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS). He also supports companies relating to matters involving residential and commercial mortgage lenders, brokers, and servicers in both the forward mortgage and reverse mortgage industries; consumer finance companies; student loan companies; third-party loan fulfillment companies; money transmitters; fintech companies; and debt collectors.

Selected by his peers to serve as the chair of the Industry Advisory Council of the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR), Haydn regularly interacts with state regulators on behalf of industry members. By matter of example, critical engagements that he has led include:

  • The 2024 acquisition of a residential mortgage servicer by a diversified financial services platform.
  • The two largest strategic acquisitions in the mortgage industry during 2023, including multiple acquisitions of residential mortgage lenders and servicers by a diversified financial services platform.
  • Securing the necessary regulatory approvals to allow a residential mortgage lender to change its ownership through an initial public offering of shares utilizing a special-purpose-acquisition-company, the largest transaction ever of its type.
  • When state regulatory agencies entered approximately 30 cease and desist orders against a non-depository mortgage servicer on the same day, Haydn successfully negotiated the resolution of those actions over a period of months.

Haydn has experience preparing multistate regulatory surveys regarding all aspects of regulatory compliance for mortgage companies and other settlement service providers. He regularly assists clients with internal and external compliance surveys, facilitates interaction with regulatory agencies, and assists with all aspects of state and federal audits, examinations, and enforcement actions. 

Identified as one of only eight “Top Mortgage Regulatory Compliance Lawyers” for 2014 by Mortgage Compliance Magazine, Haydn is a prolific speaker and author on financial services topics. His works provide practical insight to lawyers and non-lawyers. He is the author of the “State Licensing” chapter of the Consumer Financial Services Answer Book, 2024 Edition (Practising Law Institute), among other publications. He is also a member of the NMLS Industry Development Working Group (IDWG) — a panel of industry members that directly advises upon the development and continued implementation of the NMLS — and the NMLS Industry Advisory Council.

Prior to private practice, Haydn clerked for the Hon. Diane Gilbert Sypolt of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He also served as executive managing editor of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal from 2001 to 2002.