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Student Lending

Practice Overview

In recent years, scrutiny of consumer financial services offered to students has increased dramatically. This uptick in attention is the result of myriad factors, including mounting student debt and the challenges that many borrowers have experienced in repaying loans.

Government regulators, private litigants, consumer advocates, and others are focusing attention on traditional student loans as well as other financial products and services offered to students. Major industry participants such as lenders and servicers have been focal points for monitoring and increased regulation, but attention also is being placed on less prominent players such as vendors and other service providers. From marketing, disclosures, and origination terms to routine servicing, repayment restructuring, and loss mitigation, matters relating to the entire product lifecycle are being examined more closely.

Buckley Sandler is well-positioned to provide lenders, servicers, and other student lending industry participants with comprehensive, forward-looking, and practical advice to navigate this increasingly complex regulatory landscape.

We regularly advise clients regarding cutting edge student lending and servicing matters involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), prudential banking regulators, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and state attorneys general and consumer regulators. Over the past few years we have handled scores of regulatory examination preparations, supervisory matters, investigations, and enforcement actions for a variety of lenders, servicers, and service providers offering financial products and services to students.

We also assist clients with drafting and negotiating student lending-related agreements, including program, servicing, and loan purchase and sale agreements.

Our involvement in the full spectrum of matters relating to student lending and servicing gives us substantial visibility relating to the varied concerns of government agencies, as well as would-be private litigants, and we bring this experience to bear in our work. From proactive compliance management and risk-assessment to litigation and enforcement defense, Buckley Sandler is well-positioned to provide advice to industry participants.

Our recent experience includes:

  • Representing student lenders, servicers, and service providers in connection with investigations by the CFPB, prudential banking regulators, the DOJ, and state regulators
     
  • Representing student lenders and servicers in connection with examinations by federal regulators, responses to supervisory findings, and implementation of corrective action
     
  • Conducting fair lending and Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP)/Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP) risk assessments for student loan industry participants in order to identify and address compliance gaps
     
  • Representing a large student loan servicer in parallel federal government investigations, focusing on issues related to UDAP and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) compliance consensually resolved in 2014
     
  • Assisted a national non-bank student lender launching a new loan program obtain state lending licenses and create a state law compliance program consistent with those licenses
     
  • Advising student lending industry participants on compliance with the full spectrum of consumer financial protection laws as applied to the full product life cycle. These laws includes by are not limited to UDAAP/UDAP, SCRA, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and laws governing electronic signatures
     
  • Advising innovative players in the industry, including fintech companies, new product development

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