Bradley counsels clients on laws and regulations that affect AML and economic sanctions compliance, including the Bank Secrecy Act, USA Patriot Act, FinCEN regulations, OFAC sanctions, and criminal money-laundering statutes. Our experience in regulatory agencies gives us the insight to help create structures and policies that keep clients in compliance while supporting their operational priorities.
We work closely with clients on prophylactic action to avoid scrutiny or investigation by regulatory bodies, including designing, developing, reviewing and monitoring AML and economic sanctions compliance programs, as well as drafting and improving AML compliance policies and procedures, conducting compliance audits and providing training. We can also help implement technical solutions for transaction monitoring and suspicious activity detection. Our team has a mix of prosecution and defense experience, allowing us to identify and resolve potential trouble spots before they cause a problem.
Our experienced attorneys have spent their careers advising clients in this niche sector as the current legal and regulatory environment has evolved and intensified. For banks, bank holding companies, and other nonbank financial institutions of all sizes, we advise on:
The members of Bradley’s Banking and Financial Services Practice Group have demonstrated their preeminence and leadership in a number of prominent professional organizations.
We believe in taking proactive measures to avoid investigations, enforcement, and litigation whenever possible. Our attorneys advise automotive lenders regarding compliance with a litany of state and federal consumer credit statutes to shield their exposure to harmful fines and penalties.
Bradley’s regulatory and compliance services for automotive finance clients include:
When a dispute lands our clients in a courtroom, Bradley lawyers have the skills to successfully defend litigation, from initial assessment all the way through trial and appeal, if necessary. Our attorneys are trusted to defend the most sensitive cases, including class action matters with significant business and reputational risks to our clients. At the same time, our attorneys also assist automotive lenders with a variety of smaller state and federal court litigation matters.
Among the litigation services we provide our clients are:
Bradley attorneys have extensive knowledge of all CFPB regulations and extensive experience in advising financial services clients on all phases of their operations, including:
Since the enactment of new state and federal rules, we have worked regularly with clients to:
Bradley attorneys are familiar with the numerous regulatory changes applicable to the financial services industry and take a proactive role in advising clients on necessary changes to disclosures, operations, and products. Our clients in this area include a number of large and medium-sized lenders, mortgage servicers, and other financial institutions.
We have advised some of the nation’s largest financial institutions in response to state and federal examinations and investigations – and all aspects of CFPB examinations. In 2014–2015 alone, we assisted several large financial services clients as they prepared for and underwent examination by the CFPB.
Since the CFPB began to examine and exert authority over certain financial services entities, Bradley has been involved at all stages of the examination process and offers our clients extensive guidance and assistance in this area. This includes, but is not limited to:
We also perform risk assessments and mock audits to prepare clients for CFPB examinations. These engagements prepare clients for each step of the CFPB examination process. In this regard, we:
Bradley represents financial services entities in CFPB civil investigative demands (CIDs) and enforcement actions affecting all areas of operations. This work includes, but is not limited to:
When clients face internal compliance concerns or government inquiries into company conduct, Bradley conducts confidential internal investigations to identify noncompliance and determine its root cause. We act efficiently and cost-effectively to assess our clients’ physical and electronic documentation, identify relevant information, and respond appropriately to government requests.
Our role in these investigations is to act on behalf of our clients in light of the potential violations of consumer laws and associated consequences. Our activities extend to:
In the last several years alone, we have handled cases involving regulators in multistate banking, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), federal banking, and – most recently – CFPB examinations and investigations.
We also assist clients in responding to both informal and formal inquiries by:
As in related areas, we resolve the majority of these investigations before the filing of any lawsuit and have seen a high percentage be resolved through direct meetings with the government.
Since the collapse of numerous high-volume foreclosure legal service providers, we have played an active role in helping our clients respond to regulators, who have become increasingly focused on servicers’ oversight of third-party vendors. This comes into play especially with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Reserve System, including the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB), which now require servicers to certify that default legal service providers are in compliance with applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations, judicial requirements, and other work standards.
Bradley also handles matters with regard to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Our lawyers have worked within federal regulatory agencies and leverage that experience to help create structures that keep our clients in compliance with regulatory requirements. We review a variety of business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, debt financing, fund formation, and other specialized transactions for compliance with securities rules and regulation.
Our attorneys also have experience in the drafting and approval process for securities rules, and we maintain a close eye on the latest developments so we can provide our clients with the most up-to-date advice regarding new rulings, laws, and regulations. Bradley lawyers work closely with our clients to gain a deep understanding of their businesses and effectively tailor our advice to match their most important goals and priorities. Our team advises clients on a wide range of legal, regulatory, and compliance matters, including broker-dealer and investment advisor registration, equity and options trading rules, sales practices, short sales, Regulation NMS, Regulation SCI, investment adviser and investment company regulation, FINRA Rules, conflicts of interest, issuer repurchases, statutory disqualifications, information barriers, Regulation S-P, soft dollars, insider trading, prime brokerage, subordinated loan agreements, and anti-money laundering.
Bradley works with businesses to design, develop, review, monitor, and test compliance programs that can identify and mitigate any potential issues before they require intervention from a regulatory body. Our legal team helps draft or revise policies and procedures to remain compliant with exchange trading rules, federal rules, and other regulatory rules, and conducts mock audits and gap analysis, as well as providing employee training and preparing clients for regulatory examinations.
Bradley is a go-to firm for clients seeking both national and regional appellate representation, with one of the country’s strongest and most active appellate litigation practices. When a case goes on appeal, the stakes go up, and we have been there – in the U.S. Supreme Court, every federal appellate court, and a number of state supreme courts.
We have briefed, prepared, or consulted on countless appeals; argued four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court; and represented clients in many more, as both parties and amici curiae. Our legal team includes five attorneys who clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court and dozens more who clerked for federal and state appellate courts around the country. This level of experience enables us to provide invaluable insights into the procedures, personalities, and inner workings of the appellate system.
With an understanding that substantial challenges pose high stakes in terms of exposure and repetitive claims, Bradley’s Financial Services Litigation and Compliance Practice Group attorneys represent clients in a variety of complex class action cases. Because these matters can threaten business reputations, day-to-day operations, and finances, we advise clients carefully, given the potential for such litigation to adversely affect the landscape of an entire industry.
We have defended hundreds of class actions and mass actions in more than 30 states, in both state and federal courts. In many cases, our Class Action practice has successfully obtained dismissals – or defeated certification – in actions at the trial level and on appeal. Bradley is also nationally recognized for its coordinated mass action, mass tort, multidistrict litigation (MDL), CAFA, and appellate experience. Our skilled Class Action defense attorneys quickly identify the unique risks of each case and then mobilize multidisciplinary teams of lawyers from throughout the firm to craft a trial-ready defense strategy.
Bradley offers comprehensive legal services to clients in the mortgage banking industry, such as mortgage lenders, brokers, insurers, and trade associations, as well as consumer finance firms and broker-dealers. We advise on the impact of all legislation in this area, including the HOEPA, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Homeowners Protection Act, and RESPA. We also focus on civil rights matters concerning truth in lending, fair housing, opportunity for equal credit, and fair credit reporting.
Our attorneys have written numerous articles about these substantive areas, including the leading treatise on consumer financial services. They speak frequently on these topics as panelists at bar association and other professional organization events throughout the United States.
Bradley attorneys provide a range of services regarding loan repurchases, including Pooling and Servicing Agreements (PSAs). We:
Bradley has represented and defended debt collectors and other companies in matters associated with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and related state statutes. Our clients range from debt collectors, debt buyers, and banks to creditors and loan servicers, including those involved with individual and class action cases. We advise regarding many types of alleged violations, such as disclosure of identity and debt; harassment; misrepresentations in affidavits, character, or legal status of debt; discrepancies in collection amounts; collections with respect to bankruptcy; and threats of illegal action.
Bradley handles licensing for a variety of credit products, such as home, consumer, commercial, and automobile loans. Our clients include large and small financial institutions, ranging from mortgage lenders, brokers, and servicers to secondary market investors; state- and federally chartered banks; real estate brokers; and consumer finance companies.
We closely monitor federal and state laws and regulations, including the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), FDCPA, and Regulations G and H of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). For licensing-related projects, we assist with:
Bradley advises clients in connection with student debt, an area coming under increasing regulatory scrutiny. For example, we have helped our clients analyze and understand the CFPB’sreport on student loan servicing and also applicable regulatory oversight of the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Education. With regard to companies offering student lending, we assist with fundamental issues such as:
Bradley’s consumer finance attorneys also support student-lending clients with matters involving litigation, regulatory issues, and enforcement.
Bradley’s Payment Systems team has assisted a variety of institutions in “remaking” themselves to comply with the myriad of regulatory regimes covering this industry. Bradley has also acted in an advisory capacity, assisting clients in responding to regulatory inquiries, as well as in developing more robust compliance and “best practice” programs, often under the guidance of pending consent orders or regulatory directives. These efforts include:
Please see Bradley’s Regulatory Compliance page for additional information regarding the depth of our regulatory compliance experience.
Bradley’s Payment Systems team has considerable experience handling licensing matters in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and relevant U.S. territories. Whether it is strategic acquisitions of licensed entities or procuring or renewing licenses, we put our strong relationships with each state’s trade associations and our familiarity and experience with dealing with specific regulators to work for our clients in resolving licensing issues.
Please see Bradley’s Licensing and Examinations page for additional information regarding the depth of our licensing experience.
Bradley’s Payment Systems team routinely represents clients in a wide range of government enforcement actions and investigations, including actions brought by federal or state regulators and state attorneys general, as well as investigations and enforcement actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). We have successfully resolved the majority of these investigations before lawsuits were filed, and we resolved a high percentage of these matters through direct meetings with the government. As part of this practice, our efforts include:
Please see Bradley’s Examinations and CIDs page for additional information regarding the depth of our examinations experience.
Bradley’s Payment Systems team represents clients on a nationwide basis. For years, Bradley attorneys have defended cases brought against banks, lenders, credit card issuers, finance companies, payment processors, and other institutions in connection with a broad array of business practices. These matters – involving both individual claims and class actions – arise from claims related to a variety of consumer protection statutes, including the CARD Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and other federal and regulatory schemes.
Please see Bradley’s Litigation Practice Group page for additional information regarding the depth of our litigation experience.
Bradley’s Payment Systems team incudes corporate and securities attorneys who advise investors and companies in corporate and transactional payment systems and emerging payment matters. Our corporate and securities attorneys cover the entire life cycle of a business, from formation and early-stage start up to emerging growth and developed businesses.
Whether it is a start-up or a large, high-profile corporation, our corporate and securities attorneys provide legal guidance related to M&A, corporate governance, regulatory filings, and contract negotiations. Our services address a wide range of payment system provider needs, including:
Please see Bradley’s Corporate and Securities Practice Group page for additional information regarding the depth of our corporate experience.
For many companies, their most valuable asset is their intellectual property. Bradley’s Payment Systems team demonstrates the skills and tenacity needed to protect and defend the valuable IP rights of our clients. Bradley’s attorneys help payment systems clients acquire, keep and enforce their IP rights. We have counseled clients ranging from startups and technology incubators to mid-sized companies and large multinational corporations on a variety of IP issues, including:
Please see Bradley’s Intellectual Property Practice Group page for additional information regarding the depth of our intellectual property experience.
Since 2010, Bradley has assisted servicing and lending clients with performing comprehensive internal risk assessments that are now required by their primary regulators (Office of the Comptroller and the Federal Reserve Bank). These activities include developing appropriate action plans to improve practices within the companies’ respective servicing platforms. The firm’s role has been essential, given that these reviews became the subject of consent orders from the regulatory bodies, which demanded that clients develop and implement action plans that address issues from the evaluations.
To this end, we assist clients in self-evaluations and in addressing any shortcomings that are identified. These efforts include:
The firm has broad experience with assisting with the chartering and formation of new banks, including de novo banks. We guide clients through all stages of this process, from formation to establishing an organizational structure. In addition, with respect to de novo charters, our attorneys:
Bradley works closely with managers and board directors to navigate the climate of increased liability exposure and assists in the development of robust compliance management systems. Our services extend to:
On a day-to-day basis, we help clients to ensure compliance with regulations, including:
We also assist clients in establishing programs to comply with:
In light of the CFPB’s heighted focus on detecting discriminatory practices, including Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP)/Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP), we regularly work with clients to establish or enhance fair lending and fair servicing programs to meet business objectives, while maintaining compliance with the Fair Housing Act (FHA), ECOA, HMDA, and predatory lending laws.
In the secondary market, we assess current loan origination programs and servicing operations for compliance with investor guidelines, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the FHA, Veterans Affairs (VA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations. We assist GNMA issuers, servicers, and document custodians in meeting the requirements of the Ginnie Mae Guide.
We have considerable experience with M&A transactions, especially with regard to:
Large and medium-sized lenders, mortgage servicers, and financial institutions rely on Bradley to provide legal support in reviewing, revising, and creating policies and procedure frameworks to ensure that their servicing and bankruptcy-related operations comply with federal and state regulations such as the Dodd-Frank Act. We do substantial work with regard to the Mortgage Rules of the CFPB, including:
Strict adherence to all relevant rules and statutes is more important than ever in an environment where small dollar lenders are a target of state and federal regulatory bodies. We have helped clients overhaul their policies and practices to achieve compliance with Dodd-Frank and the new regulations imposed by the CFPB, including interpretation and implementation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) as implemented by Regulation Z; the Electronic Fund Transfers under Regulation E; the Mortgage Rules in Regulations X and Z; and the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s prohibition on unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices.
The firm also helps ensure compliance with regulations, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering rules (BSA-AML), and USA Patriot Act, as well as privacy rules implementing the Right to Financial Privacy Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).
Our team also conducts risk assessments and bolsters compliance by reviewing account records, policies, procedures, forms, and all levels of financial services operations. We act in an advisory capacity, assisting clients in responding to regulatory inquiries as well as in developing more robust compliance and best practices programs, often under the guidance of pending consent orders or regulatory directives. Our legal services extend to origination and servicing, as well as action plans related to the CFPB, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Reserve System.
Bradley attorneys assist banking and other financial services clients in preparing for and managing examinations and enforcement actions from the civil investigative demand stage through settlement or trial. We work closely with clients to review policies and procedures throughout all phases of their operations, develop compliance management systems, and conduct mock CFPB exams, so that clients are ready when regulators initiate examinations or enforcement investigations.
We provide financial services licensing and examination for state licensure and federal approvals to companies engaged in small dollar lending activities. Many of the licensing projects our clients undertake facilitate public or private offerings, complex reorganizations, restructurings, and stock or asset purchase transactions. We also handle nationwide licensing and renewal projects involving all manner of professional licenses with regard to consumer credit.
Bradley attorneys have defended cases brought against banks, small dollar lenders, credit card companies, finance companies, mortgage servicers, and other financial services institutions in connection with a broad array of business practices, including unsecured small dollar and title lending operations. The firm defends claims of improper credit reporting and debt collection practices, including alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy. In addition, we defend claims alleging predatory lending, fraud, identity theft, and RICO violations, as well as those alleging violations of state and federal consumer protection statutes, including the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).
We handle a diverse array of both individual claims and class actions, drawing on the firm’s litigation experience to achieve favorable outcomes for our clients. The team also represents clients as plaintiffs in disputes with vendors or other businesses, and offers one of the country’s strongest and most active appellate litigation practices.
Our Governmental Affairs Practice Group focuses primarily on advocacy and compliance for individual companies and state and national trade associations. The practice includes a full range of services that focuses on issues affecting small dollar lenders, and helps our clients solve problems and capitalize on opportunities. We have addressed issues such as Operation Choke Point, the CFPB small dollar rule, legislation establishing annual percentage rates, and other restrictions on the industry. On behalf of our clients, we have also worked closely with White House officials, senior administration officials, members of Congress and their staff, attorneys general, governors, state legislators, and state banking officials.
Since 2010, Bradley has been at the forefront of efforts to develop and implement comprehensive, sustainable, and effective vendor management programs. Combining experience developed through conducting internal investigations for clients and unparalleled knowledge of the financial services industry, the firm has participated in and managed hundreds of vendor compliance interviews across the country for our clients. Bradley identifies and assesses risks associated with vendors, evaluates and monitors compliance with applicable laws, and provides centralized governance and consistency in managing service providers.
Student debt is an area facing growing regulatory scrutiny. Bradley attorneys help our clients analyze and understand Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) activities related to student loan servicing and applicable regulatory oversight of the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Education, as well as state laws and regulations. We also offer clients assistance with fundamental issues such as:
Members of the firm’s financial services licensing group assist clients in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and relevant U.S. territories with a wide range of projects, such as business plans and analysis of regulatory implications, compliance audits and due diligence reviews, license applications, and related certifications and filings, among others.
Bradley attorneys have the skills and experience to successfully defend consumer financial services clients in all stages of litigation and appeal against a wide spectrum of state and federal claims. Among the litigation services we provide are defense against claims brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA); claims of Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices; and state law claims related to loan origination, servicing, and debt collection.
Bradley has an extensive practice dedicated to Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) transactions that is designed to help clients leverage the tax credits under Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code. We work closely with state and local bond issuers and various state housing authorities and prepare:
The attorneys on our Affordable Housing team have deep knowledge of the housing bond market’s financing structures. We handle matters involving HUD programs, development projects involving tax-exempt bond-financed transactions, and LIHTC syndications. Bradley also handles tax-exempt financing and programs involving tax advantages, subsidies, or credit.
In our HTC practice, we represent investors in and developers of historic rehabilitation projects. We also have experience with projects that rely upon financing through state HTCs, advising developers, owners, lenders, and investors.
Bradley is equipped to tackle the complex legal, tax, and regulatory issues our clients face in these transactions, such as:
We have represented qualified businesses, community development entities, leverage lenders, and tax credit investors since the NMTC programs were adopted at the federal and state levels. With regard to the need for working capital, as well as construction and renovation, we structure and close investments that qualify under these programs.
Bradley is equipped to tackle the complex legal, tax, and regulatory issues our clients face in these transactions, such as:
Since 2010, our legal team has taken a proactive role with our financial services clients in developing and implementing effective, sustainable, and comprehensive vendor-management programs. With an unparalleled knowledge of the financial services industry, our attorneys have conducted hundreds of internal investigations and participated in hundreds of default firm reviews across the country.
Bradley leverages our familiarity with FDIC and OCC guidance – such as CFPB Bulletin 2012-03, FIL-44-2008, and OCC 2003-29 – to our clients’ advantage. To facilitate efficient management of law firms and trustees, we work collaboratively with external consultants to construct vendor-management programs and state-of-the-art assessment tools.
To empower clients as the first to respond to national trends, Bradley has created internal screening and reporting protocols that identify potential areas for default firm risk. Clients have found these proprietary processes to be so integral that they have formally adopted them in submissions to government regulators.