Bradley’s Small Dollar and Unsecured Consumer Lending team leverages the firm’s national reputation as a leader in the consumer finance industry to provide efficient, practical legal services specifically tailored to the needs of our clients. The team focuses on consumer financial services laws and regulations affecting banks, non-depository banks and other financial institutions in the small dollar lending space. Our clients include consumer finance companies, such as general installment, payday, title, online, Native American tribal, pawn, and rent-to-own lenders. Our skilled group of attorneys are at the forefront of this heavily scrutinized and rapidly changing industry.

Bradley has helped small dollar lenders navigate a period of significant change in the industry. Our attorneys counsel clients on a wide spectrum of legal issues, including regulatory compliance, licensing, governmental investigations, mock audits and risk assessments, audit and exam support, business transactions, pre-litigation compliance counseling, litigation and multi-state settlements.

We routinely counsel our clients on the complex issues they face with these unique loans and advise on the implementation of state and federal regulatory requirements, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFBP) Payday, Vehicle, Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loan Rule. Our legal services extend to a range of hot-button issues regarding small dollar lenders, including:

  • Bank partnership with non-depository banks and FinTech companies
  • Tribal lending models
  • CFPB exam preparation
  • Plaintiff class action law suits
  • Mitigating state regulator issues
  • Defending our clients against consumer lawsuits in all jurisdictions
  • Litigating business to business disputes in the small dollar space

The firm’s deep bench of trial lawyers also offers an unparalleled breadth of experience in the area of consumer finance, including defending TCPA, UDAAP, FCRA, FDCPA, EFTA and other consumer financial laws. In addition, the firm offers a full range of other corporate legal services to our small dollar clients, including counsel on bankruptcy, class-actions, government relations, merger and acquisitions, and labor and employment issues.

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.

Examinations and Enforcement

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.

Licensing and Examinations

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.