CFPB Monitor is a blog focused exclusively on important goings-on at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the independent consumer financial regulatory and enforcement agency created by the Dodd-Frank Act.
The blog is produced by members of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, a practice with a national reputation for excellence in representing financial companies of all kinds in new product development, regulatory compliance, enforcement, litigation defense and avoidance, and ground-breaking pre-dispute arbitration programs.
ALAN S. KAPLINSKY | firstname.lastname@example.org | 215.864.8544 | view full bio
Alan is the founder and a Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s storied Consumer Financial Services Group. He pioneered the use of pre-dispute arbitration provisions in consumer contracts and successfully defended the very first class actions brought against financial institutions. He is a former Chair of the ABA Consumer Financial Services Committee and was the first President of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers. For 17 years, he has co-chaired PLI’s annual Institute on Consumer Financial Services.
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business calls him “a guru of consumer financial services on both the regulatory and litigation sides who has earned his well-deserved national reputation.” He is a national thought leader on the subject of consumer financial products. Never one to mince words, Alan has written and lectured on consumer financial issues to audiences nationwide. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, American Public Media, Bloomberg, American Banker, The National Law Journal, The Financial Times, and many other publications. He is an avid fan of the finer things in life: jazz and fantasy football. In his next career, Alan wants to do voiceovers on the radio or be a talk show host.
JEREMY T. ROSENBLUM | email@example.com | 215.864.8505 | view full bio
Jeremy is a Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group. He has nearly three decades of experience in consumer financial services law. Jeremy focuses primarily on federal and state lending and consumer practices laws, with emphasis on the interplay between federal and state laws. He is particularly known for his work involving the scope of preemption of federal usury laws and with consumer protection laws, such as TILA, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, and state UDAP statutes. He also represents banks, thrifts, and other entities in charter transactions; mergers, acquisitions, and conversions; the introduction of new products; asset securitizations; and the purchase of loan servicing rights.
“I enjoy the intellectual challenge of it—finding the simple solution to a complex problem,” said Jeremy. That’s a good thing because the CFPB will present unprecedented challenges to financial institutions and those who work with them.
In his limited free time, Jeremy enjoys reading, tennis, table tennis, and spectator sports. He is an avid follower of current events and politics, and a self-described theater junkie.
RICHARD J. ANDREANO, JR. | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.661.2271 | view full bio
Rich literally wrote the book on mortgage banking regulation. The Mortgage Finance Regulation Answer Book 2011-2012, published by the Practising Law Institute, was edited and co-authored by Rich and his team and established him as one of the nation’s premier thought leaders on the subject. As a practice leader of Ballard Spahr’s Mortgage Banking Group, Rich focuses on regulatory compliance, transactions, and administrative matters for residential housing and financial clients across the country. He advises lenders, brokers, financial service companies, builders, title companies, and real estate professionals on matters involving Dodd-Frank, RESPA, TILA, ECOA, FairHA, FDCPA, and HDMA. He assists clients with affiliated business arrangements, incentive programs, and the development of new loan programs and represents them in administrative investigations and enforcement actions.
A regulatory lawyer, he is based in Washington, D.C., but often wonders (as he sits in Beltway traffic) why our founding fathers didn’t have the good sense to locate our nation’s capital on a warm beach instead. In his off-time, Rich can be found at Nationals Park with his older daughter and says the year doesn’t really begin for him until Opening Day. “If I were taller, had better eyesight, and could figure out how to hit a curveball, I would have been a professional baseball player,” he said. “Or at least I would have tried.”
JUSTIN ANGELO | email@example.com | 212.223.0200 x8012 | view full bio
Justin focuses on consumer financial services litigation, defending banks and nonbanks against claims under various residential mortgage and other consumer laws. He handles mortgage fraud; CFPB enforcement actions; contested residential and commercial foreclosures; trade secret cases; title insurance coverage, defamation, and contract disputes; and fraud, lender liability, UDAP, and usury claims.
When he’s not busy advocating for clients in court, Justin enjoys watching college football and basketball, especially games involving his undergraduate alma mater, University of Michigan.
MARTIN C. BRYCE, JR. | firstname.lastname@example.org | 215.864.8238 | view full bio
Marty is a litigator whose practice is focused on arbitration, commercial law, RICO, and class action defense. He has defended class actions in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He is particularly well known for his enforcement and defense of arbitration provisions.
STEVEN D. BURT | email@example.com | 801.517.6839 | view full bio
Steve concentrates his practice in complex civil litigation at the trial and appellate levels, primarily in the area of consumer financial services. He has represented clients in the financial services and mortgage banking industries in numerous cases involving lending-related issues in state and federal court. He has extensive experience defending financial-institution clients against actions alleging violations of consumer protection laws, including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Steve’s work includes successfully representing Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., and various financial institutions in a series of state and federal cases, including cases involving claims associated with the securitization of mortgages.
When not representing financial institutions, Steve is committed to representing the underserved in pro bono cases and has been honored by the Utah State Bar and the Legal Services Corporation for his outstanding work representing borrowers in predatory lending cases.
Steve enjoys television and traveling and was lucky enough to have the two come together last year when he won a trip to Australia from a local radio station by submitting the best “guess how ‘Lost’ ends” essay. Steve commutes to work as often as possible on an old-school, all-steel touring bike, and has been known to ride even in winter thanks to studded snow tires from Finland. Finally, Steve is an avid music fan with a burgeoning record collection (and, yes, vinyl sounds better).
JOHN L. CULHANE, JR. | firstname.lastname@example.org |215.864.8535 | view full bio
John is a business and finance lawyer who counsels clients on the federal and state laws applicable to nationwide credit card, consumer loan, mortgage loan, and private education loan programs. His clients have ranged from multi-billion dollar bank holding companies to leading providers of financial institution forms and documents to lenders large and small.
John has practiced in the consumer financial services arena for more than 30 years, as a government attorney, in-house counsel, and law firm partner, and says he has the gray hairs to prove it (although he won’t say which aspects of his practice are responsible). He is a frequent speaker and writer, a former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Subcommittee on Access to Services (Credit Discrimination), and a charter member of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers. One of these days, he intends to ride his bicycle across the country.
KEITH R. FISHER | email@example.com | 202.661.2284 | view full bio
Keith focuses on financial regulatory work, mergers and acquisitions, and appellate work, including U.S. Supreme Court practice. He is nationally known, as a scholar and practitioner, for his work advising on legal ethics, strategic planning, U.S. and international banking regulation, and legislative and regulatory projects. Keith was among those who pioneered the entry of commercial banking organizations into the securities and insurance businesses. He has taught law school courses in banking law, payment systems, anti-money laundering, ethics, and international banking and finance.
But Keith isn’t just a banking lawyer in Ballard Spahr’s Washington, D.C., office. He also played one in the movies. Keith starred in the Franco-Swiss documentary film that was selected for the Cannes Film Festival, Cleveland Versus Wall Street. The film is a semi-fictionalized account of a lawsuit filed by Cleveland against 21 banks that financed bad mortgage loans. Formerly a Juilliard-trained pianist and composer, Keith is an avid chess player, is fluent in French and Italian, and can hold up his end of a conversation in German, Spanish, and Greek.
MARK J. FURLETTI | firstname.lastname@example.org | 215.864.8138 | view full bio
Mark concentrates on federal and state consumer lending and payments laws, particularly those that apply to payment cards. Before joining Ballard Spahr, he worked as a business consultant, assisting the nation’s largest retail banks and credit card lenders with customer strategy issues, and as a manager at one of the largest credit card issuers in the United States. He also worked for several years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Mark has spoken nationally on the legislative and regulatory developments in consumer payment vehicles, the Dodd-Frank Act, the role of government in consumer finance, and UDAP. He has been quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer, MarketWatch, The Consumer Financial Services Law Report, and The Financial Times, among other publications.
REID F. HERLIHY | email@example.com | 202.661.2279 | view full bio
Reid provides regulatory and transactional advice for clients on a range of issues involving state and federal consumer finance laws. He counsels mortgage companies, servicers, consumer finance companies, financial institutions, investment banks, debt collectors, and secondary-market investors on state and federal regulatory compliance issues.
Reid regularly assists clients with meeting state and federal licensing and approval requirements, including those related to stock and asset acquisitions. He has extensive experience with the SAFE Act and has counseled numerous mortgage companies, servicers, and third-party service providers on implementing those requirements.
STEFANIE H. JACKMAN | firstname.lastname@example.org | 678.420.9490 | view full bio
Stefanie handles complex litigation, particularly class and individual actions in consumer financial services and securities. She has experience in a variety of consumer litigation matters involving such laws as state statutes prohibiting unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAPs), RESPA, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Stefanie also handles employment class and collective actions, commercial contract matters, and trademark disputes.
ANTHONY C. KAYE | email@example.com | 801.531.3069 | view full bio
Tony focuses his practice on complex civil litigation at both the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts throughout the United States. He has defended high-stakes, complex matters in a wide variety of areas, with a focus on consumer financial and mortgage banking services, distressed real estate, intellectual property, business governance disputes, and product liability and mass torts.
Tony is a member of Ballard Spahr’s Pro Bono Committee and supervisor of the firm’s pro bono program in Utah. In 2011, for their work representing the victim of a predatory lending scheme, Tony and fellow blogger Steven D. Burt received the Distinguished Pro Bono Attorney award from the Utah State Bar, Utah Legal Services, the S. J. Quinney College of Law, and the Pro Bono Initiative. Tony also has been recognized by the Legal Services Corporation for his efforts in providing equal access to justice.
Originally a New York City kid (and a member of the New York State Bar), Tony now calls Salt Lake City his home. He is a better skier than his friends give him credit for, and in 2010, his USTA League tennis team was an Intermountain Section finalist. His main goals in life are raising his two children to be happy and self-sufficient, taking his tennis team to the nationals, and having the freedom to see a good movie with his spouse whenever he wants.
Stan is one of the nation’s leading attorneys in the area of consumer financial services, with extensive experience working in the industry from all vantage points—first as a government regulator working for the Federal Reserve; later as a law firm partner based in Washington, D.C., and in Phoenix; followed by six years as in-house counsel at one of the nation’s largest banks.
Stan counsels financial institutions on compliance with state and federal statutes and regulations, and implementation of lending and deposit programs, including residential mortgage, credit card, equity line, overdraft, and electronic fund transfer products. An of counsel in Ballard Spahr’s Phoenix and Washington, D.C., offices, he is a Founding Member of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and he has held several leadership positions on the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee.
In his spare time, Stan is a dedicated orchardist. At his home in Prescott Valley, Arizona, north of Phoenix, he cares for a mixed-fruit orchard with 19 trees that produce several varieties of apples, plums, peaches, pears, nectarines, cherries, and apricots. There also is one pomegranate tree. Pruning is an important facet of growing fruit as each tree type requires a different technique.
“It’s my hobby and my therapy,” Stan says. “Pruning mistakes cannot be undone, so every cut is carefully contemplated. I study the tree with my manual in hand and try to figure out what I have to trim to encourage the growth of the tree. I stand there and stare for long periods, so I suspect my neighbors probably think I’ve ‘wandered off.’ And while I do, of course, have sharp implements in hand, I’m harmless and very relaxed.”
DANIEL JT MCKENNA | firstname.lastname@example.org | 215.864.8321 | view full bio
Dan handles complex class actions, claims against consumer lenders, commercial litigation cases, and general tort claims. But Dan’s dedication to service doesn’t end there. Dan implemented the nationwide Wills for Heroes program in which volunteer lawyers and legal professionals provide free estate-planning for first responders and emergency personnel. The program is now Ballard Spahr’s signature public service project.
Barbara advises clients on consumer compliance and banking law and is an active member of the firm’s Dodd-Frank Task Force. She has hands-on experience with the ever-growing array of federal consumer finance laws, including the Truth in Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. She also works with state usury and lender licensing laws, as well as state laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive acts and practices.
“Consumer finance work is interesting to me because the laws are constantly changing. Applying the laws to existing and new products presents an intellectual challenge that I find stimulating and rewarding,” said Barbara.
Barbara writes extensively about consumer finance and banking issues and has been published in The Banking Law Journal, The Business Lawyer, Consumer Financial Services Law Report, and Consumer Finance Law Quarterly Report, among other publications. In her free time, Barbara plays tennis and enjoys needlepoint and knitting.
Karen counsels mortgage servicers, lenders, consumer finance companies, title companies, and financial institutions on compliance issues and legal risks under state and federal financial services laws and regulations, including Dodd-Frank, RESPA, TILA, ECOA, and FDCPA. In addition, she assists clients with responding to CFPB examinations and Civil Investigative Demands.
When she isn’t working, Karen enjoys reading, red wine, and world travel. She’s been to six continents and hopes to visit Antarctica soon.
BETH MOSKOW-SCHNOLL | email@example.com | 302.252.4447 | view full bio
Beth was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware for more than a decade before joining Ballard Spahr. There she investigated and prosecuted financial fraud, including bank and credit card fraud, money laundering, asset forfeiture, and tax offenses.
At Ballard Spahr, Beth is a litigator focused on white collar crime, regulatory enforcement and compliance, and complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on banking and other financial services litigation. Beth represents major financial institutions, bringing actions against fraudulent debt relief companies and defending against consumer financial services lawsuits.
“White collar work is so immediate, so personal, and the stakes are so high. Oftentimes, we are asked to help when the government is already investigating and, when we can prevent our client from being charged, it brings me immense satisfaction. While worry for my clients has caused me to lose a lot of sleep, it’s my passion,” Beth said.
AMY S. MUSHAHWAR | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.661.7644 | view full bio
Amy is an experienced e-commerce and data security and privacy attorney in Ballard Spahr’s Washington, D.C., office, where she is a member of the firm’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services, Privacy and Data Security, and E-Discovery and Data Management Groups.
Amy counsels companies on data security and privacy matters and advises on regulatory issues involving e-commerce, including social networking sites, the use of mobile platforms in banking transactions, and PCI compliance for payment cards. She has experience developing in-house compliance policies, procedures, and training programs for Fortune 500 companies across the nation. She also conducts online and offline privacy assessments and information security policy audits and advises on all state, federal, and international privacy requirements and data protection laws.
Before becoming a lawyer, Amy owned and operated a technology consulting company, where she performed network security design and implementation.
When she isn’t working, Amy relaxes by boating on D.C.-area waterways. She also loves cooking Mediterranean food and drinking good wine.
SARAH T. REISE | email@example.com | 678.420.9370 | view full bio
Sarah is an associate in the Litigation Department and a member of the Consumer Financial Services and Mortgage Banking Groups. Her practice focuses on complex civil litigation in the area of consumer financial services. She represents clients in the financial services and mortgage banking industries in cases involving lending-related issues, including claims arising under state and federal lending and consumer protection laws. She also has defended financial institutions in class actions and regulatory investigations involving lender- or force-placed hazard and flood insurance.
When she’s not working, Sarah enjoys running, baking, and wine. She also has three dogs, all of which were adopted from local animal shelters.
BURT M. RUBLIN | firstname.lastname@example.org | 215.864.8116 | view full bio
Burt is the co-partner-in-charge of Ballard Spahr’s Appellate Group. Burt’s practice is focused on class actions, appellate litigation, complex commercial litigation, and antitrust litigation. He has successfully represented clients in cases involving usury laws; class settlement opt-outs; credit card fees, including jurisdictional issues; and fraud. This year, Benchmark Litigation named him a “local litigation star” for antitrust, appellate, and commercial litigation.
TREVOR SALTER | email@example.com | 202.661.2224 | view full bio
Trevor counsels banks and non-bank financial service providers on compliance and transactional matters. He particularly enjoys helping clients grow their businesses as they use technology and innovation to deliver financial products in new ways.
When work isn’t on his mind, Trevor is frequently lamenting his inability to keep up either with the washed-up old guys on the soccer pitch or with his three (very active) young boys at home.
JOHN D. SOCKNAT | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.661.2253 | view full bio
John is a practice leader of Ballard Spahr’s Mortgage Banking Group. He has spent the last 15 years advising clients on state and federal mortgage banking regulatory issues and defending industry members against enforcement actions brought by regulators.
John sees unprecedented activity in store as the CFPB ramps up and state regulators, other federal regulators, and the state attorneys general line up to take shots at industry players. John has had a ringside seat to the action for the past decade through his role as a member of the Advisory Council to the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR).
The dramatic changes in the nation’s mortgage banking industry also have sparked John’s social life. In the past, when he explained that he was a mortgage banking regulatory lawyer, the information was met with stifled yawns. No longer.
A lapsed Crossfit devotee, John continues to struggle to find the right mix of working out, pinot noir, and his latest obsession, food trucks.
MERCEDES K. TUNSTALL | email@example.com | 202.661.2221 | view full bio
Mercedes is particularly well equipped to help clients comply with the regulations likely to emerge from the CFPB. As a partner at Ballard Spahr, she advises financial institutions of all sizes on matters involving unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices. She has experience preventing and responding to government investigations, and also in creating and developing financial products, including mobile and other e-commerce initiatives, data privacy and security issues, and the delivery of financial services through social media.
But Mercedes’ legal experience has been shaped by more than just a stellar career in corporate law. Mercedes was a staff attorney at the Federal Trade Commission, where she investigated fraud. And, before joining Ballard Spahr, she was lead counsel for Global Marketing and Deposits at Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC), where she was responsible for responding to state attorney general and federal regulator inquiries into consumer protection, privacy, compliance, and disclosure issues. She managed the legal aspects of e-commerce at Bank of America and managed consumer financial services litigation for HSBC.
Shortly before Mercedes’ arrival at HSBC, the bank signed a $500 million settlement agreement in all 50 states for predatory lending issues. Mercedes was part of the team of attorneys and compliance officers who worked to implement the required changes in business practices throughout the global organization. She also was part of the team responsible for coordinating the rebranding from Household International to HSBC.
Mercedes said, “I worked for the FTC right out of law school because I truly believe in protecting consumers in the marketplace. In many ways I still am a true believer. I view my practice now as realistically working with companies to balance profit with doing the right thing for customers.”
Mercedes spends her free time wrangling her two young sons, singing opera, listening to music, and cooking. She hopes one day to run a half-marathon.
MICHAEL S. WALDRON | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.661.2234 | view full bio
Michael Waldron is a Practice Leader of the firm’s Mortgage Banking Group. As former in-house counsel for two national lender/servicing shops, he helps clients navigate transactional, regulatory, and litigation matters facing the financial services and mortgage banking industries.
Michael advises mortgage companies, financial institutions, and secondary-market investors and serves as outside general counsel for emerging market players in the consumer financial services space. Of late, his practice has focused on repurchase issues, advising clients on issues stemming from the foreclosure documentation crisis and GSE reform.
He is an editor of Mortgage Finance Regulation Answer Book 2011-2012 and co-author of its “Repurchase Demands and Mortgage Insurance Claims” and “Residential Mortgage Loan Basics” chapters.
After graduating from Lafayette College, where he played Division I soccer, Michael wanted to become a political consultant and thought having a law degree would help. By the time he graduated from Catholic University of America, the mortgage business was a $1.3 trillion industry and there were relatively few attorneys focused on the sector. Michael became one of them. Today’s challenge? Helping clients make sense of rapidly changing laws and apply them to their businesses.
In his free time, Michael loves to cook and entertain. The youngest of five children, Michael learned from his Italian mother and has been expanding his culinary skills ever since. He frequently hosts neighborhood dinners for 35 or more people. “When you come from a big family, you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I enjoy the planning as well as the social aspect. I like the creativity of it.”
CHRISTOPHER J. WILLIS | email@example.com | 678.420.9436 | view full bio
Chris focuses on complex litigation, particularly consumer financial services class actions and complex business/contract litigation and arbitration. He also handles employment class and collective actions and securities litigation and investigations.
But swimming with sharks is not confined to his working hours. Chris has taken adventure vacations all over the world. He snorkeled with humpback whales in Tonga, went cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa, did a camping safari in Tanzania, toured Mongolia, and went bird-watching in the Amazon. Wildlife photography is a passion. You can check out Chris’s photos at www.pbase.com/cwillis.
Chris also is part-owner of a racing car, which he drives on a closed track. The fastest he’s ever driven is 155 mph (in a Dodge Viper). But his current personal vehicle—a bright yellow Porsche 911 Turbo—boasts 585 horsepower. Fortunately for Chris, particularly because he does not handle matters in traffic court, the roads in Atlanta are too winding to enjoy the car at its full capacity. Instead, he uses local roads to bicycle as much as 80 miles a week.
Chris is a member of the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee and serves as a Master to The Lamar American Inn of Court, affiliated with Emory University School of Law. He serves on the Facilities Committee of Zoo Atlanta, which he represents on pro bono matters. He is also the proud owner of two Keeshond dogs, one of whom will be shown professionally this year.