Since the financial crisis, Bradley attorneys have assisted lenders, servicers, and other financial services clients in “remaking” themselves to comply with industry regulations that emerged after the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. Our Financial Services Litigation and Compliance Practice Group conducts risk assessments and bolsters compliance by reviewing account records, policies, procedures, forms, and all levels of financial services operations.

In the last several years of heightened regulation and regulatory oversight, 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.

Our legal services also extend to origination and servicing, as well as action plans related to Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve System.

On a day-to-day basis, we help clients to ensure compliance with regulations, including:

  • 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)
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)
  • Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA)
  • National Flood Insurance Protection Act (NFIP)
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • Truth in Lending Act (TILA), including Know Before You Owe TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID)
  • Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
  • Flood Disaster Protection Act (FDPA)

We also assist clients in establishing programs to comply with:

  • Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering rules (BSA-AML)
  • USA Patriot Act
  • Privacy rules implementing the Right to Financial Privacy Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

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.

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:

  • Analyzing business plans and regulatory implications
  • Strategic and structural considerations
  • Risk audits for compliance
  • Amendments and changes to licenses
  • Renewal applications and related reports
  • Regulatory enforcement proceedings
  • License applications, certificates of authority, and Secretary of State filings
  • Federal agency approvals of government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)
  • Litigation and other administrative events

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:

  • Conducting platform-wide risk assessments and gap analyses for clients seeking to determine the level of their compliance with existing requirements before impending audits by regulatory and enforcement bodies
  • Revising and restructuring our clients’ policies and procedures to meet regulatory requirements and to ensure industry standards are met
  • Providing broad training to our clients’ staff and leadership regarding updated policies and procedures

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:

  • Performing risk assessments
  • Developing programs for the supervision of third-party vendors and law firms
  • Reviewing and developing policies and procedures for essential business functions
  • Developing single-point-of-contact programs for loss-mitigation programs

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:

  • Review bank policies and procedures
  • Assist with business plans
  • Prepare and submit charter applications (both federal and state), including the Federal Deposit Insurance Application
  • Draft documentation to address state and federal securities laws
  • Negotiate agreements with third-party providers
  • Counsel board members on fiduciary duties and how to minimize personal liability
  • Establish corporate governance best practices
  • Draft employment agreements as well as stock option and grant plans

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:

  • Board training, obligations and “better practice” governance requirements
  • Designing governance frameworks
  • Assessing board and audit committees
  • Advising on Sarbanes-Oxley (for SEC registrants)
Under an evolving set of laws and regulations, and the increasingly active CFPB, our financial services attorneys are able to anticipate potential impediments to a business with regard to debt collection. These services range from resolving legal disputes and compliance with consumer finance regulations to managing operational concerns. Our team includes experienced and accomplished attorneys who have held senior positions at state and federal agencies.
Having worked in all areas of the financial services industry, Bradley attorneys provide counsel to banks and other financial market participants regarding the regulatory reform that has changed the mortgage market. From regulations issued under the Dodd-Frank Act to the Basel III capital rules, we advise and protect our bank clients and non-bank servicers, hedge funds, and private equity investors. We also have assisted mortgage originators in restructuring their businesses and operations, and counseled on bankruptcy proceedings. Bradley also advises clients on the impact of the CFPB and its authority to enforce substantive regulations regarding mortgage origination, servicing, and related activities.

We have considerable experience with M&A transactions, especially with regard to:

  • Accessing public and private capital markets
  • Assisting financial holding companies with corporate reorganizations
  • Advising private equity investors on regulatory aspects of investing in banking organizations
  • Integrating newly acquired companies or business lines