As the mortgage industry continues to evolve, mortgage-related government scrutiny continues. Buckley Sandler is a leading provider of legal services to the mortgage industry, representing the top mortgage originators and servicers in the United States. Our clients include the nation’s largest financial institutions, regional banks and lenders, start-up firms, mortgage insurers, title insurers, securities broker-dealers, private equity investors, specialty servicers, warehouse lenders, e-commerce and technology vendors, home builders, and mortgage industry trade associations.
Our comprehensive experience is based on decades of experience as trusted counselors across regulation, enforcement, litigation, transactions, and licensing, and our team approach informs our advice across the entire spectrum of work that we do. Our firm defends mortgage lenders and servicers in every stage of government investigation and enforcement, as well as federal and state court proceedings. We provide regulatory counseling on compliance matters for all aspects of the origination and servicing process, including fair and responsible lending and servicing, the complex set of federal and state disclosure and timing requirements, government insured and guaranteed lending, mortgage fraud and anti-money laundering (AML), preemption, privacy and information security, and electronic delivery of commercial and residential loans. We assist non-bank clients in analyzing state license requirements to engage in the various aspects of the mortgage business, as well as to obtain such licenses or approvals for changes of control. We work with our clients to develop new products as well as design and implement new policies, procedures, and disclosures that ensure compliance with recently enacted federal and state laws and regulations. We also advise on the purchase and sale of mortgage companies, servicers, settlement service providers, as well as mortgage loans and mortgage servicing rights, and assist in negotiating servicing sub-servicing, credit facility, joint venture, private-label outsourcing, technology, and other critical vendor agreements.
Significant work includes:
- Assisted a wide range of bank and non-bank lenders and servicers in adapting systems and procedures to implement the sweeping mortgage regulations adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act, including the Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule, Loan Originator Compensation Rule, Mortgage Servicing Rules, Truth in Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (TILA-RESPA) Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID), and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)
- Represented numerous mortgage servicers in CFPB investigations regarding alleged violations of RESPA, the Mortgage Servicing Rules (MSR) and the prohibition on Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP)
- Conducted due diligence and transactional work in connection with numerous mortgage lender and servicer acquisitions
- Conducted substantial reviews of disclosure and loan documents for mortgage lenders transitioning to new document vendors
- Represented mortgage servicer in complex investigation involving the interplay of the Bankruptcy Code and RESPA’s escrow rule
- Representation of numerous correspondent lenders in actions for breach of contract and indemnification brought by the ResCap Liquidating Trust as successor to Residential Funding Company (RFC) arising from the sale and subsequent securitization of residential mortgage loans
- Represented a U.S. financial services company in its exit from mortgage business
- Represented a U.S. financial services company in sale of mortgage servicing rights and a default servicing platform to Green Tree, which included a subservicing arrangement between the two entities
- Represented a federally chartered bank in the sale of mortgage servicing rights to Two Harbors
- Represented a private equity firm in an equity investment in a reverse mortgage lender
- Represented a mortgage company in $100M stock sale to private equity firm
- Represented a Wall Street bank in a mortgage loan private-label outsourcing arrangement, including related servicing and loan sale agreements
- Represented a client in the acquisition of two mortgage-related fintech companies
- Representing clients in connection with various portfolio retention structures
- Represented clients in establishing Affiliated Business Arrangements/joint ventures
Buckley Sandler is a leading provider of legal services to the mortgage lending industry and advises on all aspects of the origination process. We assist clients with product development, advertising and marketing, disclosures, loan originator compensation, underwriting/ability-to-repay, fair lending, applying Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other anti-kickback requirements to business development efforts, appraisal management, vendor relations, and electronic disclosure and signature. Our clients include mortgage lenders, brokers and insurers, as well as securities broker-dealers, consumer finance companies, home builders, document preparation firms, real estate brokers, lead generators, and mortgage industry trade associations. Our attorneys are recognized authorities on the laws affecting this industry, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Fair Housing Act (FHA), Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), RESPA, Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), Homeowners Protection Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the myriad state laws applicable to mortgage origination.
Our attorneys advise on mortgage servicing-related examination, enforcement, regulatory counseling, litigation, and transactional matters. We advise on all issues pertaining to loss mitigation foreclosure alternatives, collection activities, using affiliated providers for default or other services, payment application, managing escrows, portfolio retention, state licensing, and federal preemption for bank servicing loans given the impact of Dodd-Frank. We are involved in regulatory and private litigation actions pertaining to lender-placed insurance, fair and responsible servicing; loss mitigation and loan modifications; foreclosure and bankruptcy; affiliated and unaffiliated vendor management matters; and False Claims Act (FCA)-related issues. We guide clients through Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) examinations and investigations, state regulator examinations and enforcement (including joint actions through the Multi-state Mortgage Committee (MMC)), Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA) investigations and enforcement actions, state attorney general investigations, and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigations. We negotiate mortgage servicing right purchase and sale agreements, sub-servicing agreements, and various types of vendor agreements. We also assist with remedial efforts to enhance servicing compliance policies, procedures, practices, and internal controls, including the preparation of comprehensive legal requirement inventories, risk assessments, policies, and procedures.
Our lawyers provide local, state, and federal compliance and risk management advice. We develop compliance management programs, including written policies, training, and ongoing monitoring to address compliance with evolving lending laws and regulations. We advise on the complex rules governing Federal Housing Administration lending and servicing. We have played an active role in federal compliance initiatives involving government agencies, including the various investigations and actions relating to the foreclosure crisis such as the interagency horizontal review of the mortgage servicing industry and related Independent Foreclosure Review process. We also regularly conduct 50-state surveys of laws governing the mortgage industry.
Our firm advises on mortgage-related enforcement matters initiated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Reserve Board (FRB), Federal Housing Administration, state regulators (both individually and through the MMC) and state attorneys general. We resolve complex parallel proceedings involving concurrent government enforcement and civil litigation, congressional investigations, and class actions. We assist our clients in responding to bank regulatory examinations, as well as Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs (VA), and Ginnie Mae audits and inspector general reviews.
Our litigators defend mortgage-related class action and complex civil claims, ranging from multi-district class and mass actions and other complex civil litigation to arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings. Our experience involves allegations of fair and responsible lending, unfair competition and deceptive trade acts and practices, fraud, false statements, false claims, breach of contract, loan repurchase claims, and breach of fiduciary duties, as well as alleged violations of regulations and laws governing the mortgage industry. We offer our mortgage industry clients a strong appellate practice, and serve as amicus curiae counsel on cases that impact this industry.
Buckley Sandler is involved in the full range of transactions relevant to mortgage companies, servicers, settlement service providers, vendors, and investors. We negotiate the most favorable business terms possible for our clients by leveraging our knowledge of the mortgage industry and its business risks, our experience handling litigation and enforcement matters, and our deep understanding of the relevant laws, regulations, and the expectations of regulators, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSE), and Ginnie Mae. Our lawyers are experienced in regulatory and corporate due diligence of both acquisition or investment targets as well as service providers. We negotiate mergers and acquisitions of mortgage lenders, servicers, brokers, settlement service providers, and other service providers; asset purchase and sale transactions, including loans and servicing rights; and distressed asset purchases and sales agreements. We negotiate and document correspondent, wholesale lending, broker, servicing and subservicing, pooling and servicing, warehouse lending and other credit facility, outsourcing, co-branding, portfolio retention, and marketing and affinity marketing agreements. We are also involved in vendor transactions that include, loan origination, servicing, collections, settlement services, vendor arrangements, the provision of electronic/digital mortgage-related services, and joint ventures under Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act's (RESPA) affiliated business arrangement rules.
Our firm offers law-related licensing services to mortgage lenders, loan investors, and mortgage servicing rights-owners, brokers, and servicers, as well as debt collectors, consumer finance companies, and other non-depository financial institutions. We assist with every phase of the licensing process, from identifying potential target licenses to interacting with state regulatory agencies. We work with our clients to obtain licenses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and most U.S. territories. Our experience includes federal and state licensing; mortgage, Federal Housing Administration, and loan originator/loan officer licensing; the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS); and license changes of control, modifications, upgrades, downgrades, and surrenders. We navigate our clients through amendments to corporate structure and change of control, management and location, and Certificate of Authority and DBA filings. Our attorneys have extensive experience working with state and federal regulators and licensing authorities on licensing and compliance matters. Our integrated approach to licensing give us an advantage when drafting initial applications and follow-on requests that have the best chance of obtaining timely approval.
Buckley Sandler delivers an in-depth understanding of mortgage lending operations, loan sale transactions, and market expectations in the representation of mortgage lenders in loan repurchase litigation brought by investors, trustees, and bond insurers alleging breaches of representations and warranties in loan purchase or credit enhancement agreements. We also assist clients in responding to repurchase demands made by private investors and government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). As needed, our team can assist in the difficult, loan-by-loan analysis of the validity of repurchase requests.
Our attorneys routinely advise mortgage insurers on a broad range of compliance matters, including those involving the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA); federal, state, and international privacy laws; Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA); Fair Housing Act; Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); and Truth in Lending Act (TILA). We also counsel clients on issues pertaining to federal and state fair debt collection laws, state insurance statues, and other state and federal laws and regulations. We assist our clients in drafting and negotiating mortgage insurance contracts and ancillary agreements, contract underwriting, and other arrangements with various settlement service providers. We represent mortgage insurers before Congress, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), FTC, and federal banking and state regulatory agencies.
Buckley Sandler advises corporate clients and industry trade associations on pending federal and state legislative and regulatory developments affecting the mortgage industry. Our lawyers draft legislative and regulatory language, prepare comment letters, and advocate client positions before Congress, regulatory agencies, and state legislatures.
Jeffrey P. Naimon, Jon David D. Langlois, and Daniel Cheriyan Authored a Law360 Article, "Ignore Borrower Preference In Loss Mitigation? CFPB Says Yes"
Mortgage servicers should not listen to borrowers when it comes to loss mitigation. At least, that’s what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says. More specifically, servicers should disregard when a borrower tells the servicer they do not want to keep their home. Officially, this has been...Articles
Melissa Klimkiewicz and Brandy A. Hood Authored a Law360 Article, "Managing Flood Risk When '1,000-Year' Floods Seem Common"
Hurricane Harvey is the most significant in a recent series of catastrophic coastal and riverine floods impacting communities across the United States. This “1,000-year flood” follows two consecutive years of “500-year” floods in Houston, and Houston is not alone. Just ask Missourians about the “1,...Articles
Jeffrey P. Naimon and Sasha Leonhardt Authored a Law360 Article, "Harvey Crisis: How State Laws Will Protect Servicemembers"
As Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and southeastern Texas this past weekend, thousands of first responders were called to action to provide critical assistance to communities along the Gulf Coast. Even as this storm continues to affect those along the water and move inland, rescue operations,...Articles
Melissa Klimkiewicz, Kathryn L. Ryan, and Kathryn R. Goodman Authored a National Mortgage News Article, "State Regulators Have Their Eye on Reverse Mortgage Lenders"
The U.S. population is aging, and one of the well-established components of the American dream — buying and owning a home — appears poised to aid in the baby boomers' next phase of life. In fact, an increasing number of older Americans are expected to tap into their home equity to fund their living...Articles
Jeffrey P. Naimon and Moorari K. Shah Authored a Mortgage Compliance Magazine Article, "Divide & Conquer"
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) continues to expand its gaze, announcing this past April that it has begun implementation of a program to directly supervise service providers of financial institutions, particularly those that cater to the mortgage industry. As regulatory...Articles
Brandy A. Hood Co-Authored an Article for the American Bar Association's The Business Lawyer, "TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Developments"
INTRODUCTION The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has made the Know Before You Owe: TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule (“TRID Rule”) the centerpiece of its mortgage-regulatory mandate. Since the TRID Rule’s effective date of October 3, 2015, the CFPB has been steadily producing...Articles
Warren W. Traiger Authored an American Banker Article, "Regulators' Silence on New HMDA Rule is Deafening"
As banks prepare to comply with a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule adding new reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, much attention has been paid to how expanded data points such as “interest rate” and “credit score” will affect fair-lending compliance. But the...Articles
On April 13, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposal to amend the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) rule. The changes are primarily for the purpose of clarifying data collection and reporting requirements, and most of the clarifications and revisions would take...Articles
Mortgage Compliance Magazine - NFIP Reauthorization and Reform: Are More Changes Coming to Lenders' Flood Insurance Requirements
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP or the Program) will expire on September 17, 2017, unless it is timely reauthorized. Because the Program is $23 billion in debt, there is significant speculation regarding whether and how Congress may restructure the Program this year. Changes to the NFIP...Articles
Last October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published a final rule amending Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The CFPB drafted the amendments in response to specific congressional directives in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,...Articles
On January 10, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) announced the termination of ten enforcement actions for legacy mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing activities, along with the issuance of more than $35 million in combined civil money penalties (CMPs) against five of the ten banks...InfoBytes
On January 5, the U.S. Government reached a $5 million settlement with a national bank and its affiliates (together, the bank parties) to resolve a lawsuit concerning allegations that the bank parties violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by engaging in improper foreclosure-related practices. The...InfoBytes
On January 3, a mortgage servicer entered into a $45 million settlement with 49 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia for alleged mortgage servicing delinquencies. The settlement resolves a complaint , filed on the same day in the D.C. District Court, that alleges that between 2009...InfoBytes
On January 3, the District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the U.S. Government’s motion to intervene in a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit against a national bank. The lawsuit , filed by a foreclosure attorney and relator, alleges that the national bank submitted false claims in...InfoBytes
On December 29, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Circular 26-17-43 to clarify its policy that lenders may use third-party vendors to verify borrower income, employment, and asset information subject to the following caveats: (i) lenders must retain full responsibility for verifying...InfoBytes
On December 22, the California Attorney General announced a $125 million settlement with an international bank to resolve allegations of misrepresentations while selling residential mortgage-backed securities to California’s public employee and teacher pension funds. According to Attorney General...InfoBytes
On December 22, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed legislation enacting amendments to the state’s residential mortgage lending act. HB 199 , among other things, (i) updates certain definitions, such as modifying the definition of “nationwide mortgage licensing system and registry” to broadly include...InfoBytes
OMB has released the CFPB’s Fall 2017 rulemaking agenda. Although this is the first update to the agenda since Richard Cordray left the agency in November 2017, delays in the publication of rulemaking agendas are common so the updated agenda may not reflect the views of new CFPB leadership. The...InfoBytes
On December 22, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law SB 751 , an act amending Title 7 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to regulate certain mortgage servicing activities. The amendments revise existing definitions, define new terms, establish mortgage servicing licensing...InfoBytes
On December 27, the CFPB announced the launch of a HMDA Check Digit Tool and a Rate Spread Calculator to assist financial institutions in the calculation of data field values required for reporting HMDA data. According to the CFPB, the HMDA Check Digit Tool and the Rate Spread Calculator will...InfoBytes
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 27, 2017) – Buckley Sandler today announced the publication of the second edition of the CFPB Mortgage Origination Rules Deskbook . Produced in partnership with the American Bankers Association, the book is the definitive guide for bank and nonbank mortgage originators...Press Releases
BuckleySandler LLP hosted its eighth annual Fair Lending Today conference in Washington, DC on March 13-14, 2016. The two-day event featured an evening of interactive roundtable discussions on fair lending issues, followed by a full day of seminars. The sessions were led by BuckleySandler attorneys...Press Releases
Buckley Sandler Files Amicus Curiae Brief on Behalf of Industry Group in RESPA Case; Marks First Appeal Against CFPB Director Decision
On October 5, 2015, Buckley Sandler attorneys filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Consumer Mortgage Coalition (CMC) in the first case to come up on appeal to the District of Columbia Circuit since the CFPB was founded in 2011. In the CMC’s brief, Buckley Sandler attorneys argued that the...Press Releases
Buckley Sandler LLP hosted its annual Fair Lending Today conference in Washington, DC, March 15-16, 2015. The two-day event featured an evening of interactive roundtable discussions on fair lending issues, followed by a full day of seminars. The roundtables and seminars were led by Buckley Sandler...Press Releases
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 9, 2014) – Buckley Sandler LLP , a leading financial services and criminal and civil enforcement defense law firm, is pleased to announce the availability of “The New CFPB Mortgage Origination Rules Deskbook.” Published in partnership with the American Bankers Association...Press Releases
Our Mortgages Team
Melissa Klimkiewicz, Kathryn L. Ryan, and Kathryn R. Goodman Authored a National Mortgage News Article, "State Regulators Have Their Eye on Reverse Mortgage Lenders"
Buckley Sandler Issues Second Edition of CFPB Mortgage Origination Rules Deskbook
Recent Blog Posts
January 12, 2018
Fed terminates foreclosure enforcement actions, fines five banks CMPs
January 11, 2018
U.S. government, national bank parties enter $5 million False Claims Act settlement
January 5, 2018
Mortgage Servicer Agrees to Pay $45 Million in Nationwide Settlement
January 5, 2018
District Court Allows Government to Intervene in False Claims Act Litigation
January 5, 2018
VA Clarifies Third-Party Verification Requirements