Philip R. Stein

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CFPB Arbitration Rule Eliminated by Congress and President

On November 1, President Trump formally did away with a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) arbitration rule that would have given consumers the opportunity to file class actions against banks and other companies in the financial services industry. The CFPB rule was released in July 2017. It sought to prohibit and eliminate bans against class … Continue Reading

New Wave of Lehman Litigation Appears to Be Imminent

Thousands of mortgage lenders across the country either recently received, or will soon be receiving, this document from Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. (LBHI). It is a notice of a motion to approve a proposed settlement of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) claims asserted by trustees and investors against LBHI over the last few years. The notice … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Ruling Permits City Lawsuits Against Banks Under FHA to Proceed

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today, in Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami, Case No. 15-1111 that cities may qualify as “aggrieved persons” under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), thus placing them within the “zone of interests” covered by that federal statute.  As such, they are permitted to sue banks for the secondary … Continue Reading

The New Administration’s Plans for the CFPB Take Shape

For those who have been wondering—as I did in a previous post—what the new presidential administration would mean for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an agency that has been in Republicans’ crosshairs virtually since it came into existence, we now have at least the beginnings of a concrete answer. Claiming that the CFPB’s leadership … Continue Reading

Minnesota State Court Defendants Win Partial Summary Judgment Over RFC and ResCap

Wednesday, February 1 brought a welcome development for the many correspondent lenders currently defending against claims filed by (or threatened with future lawsuits by) Residential Funding Company (“RFC”) and its successor-in-interest, the ResCap Liquidating Trust (“ResCap”). There have been three venues in which RFC and ResCap have been litigating, for years now, against correspondent lenders. … Continue Reading

Key Legal & Regulatory Issues for Financial Services Companies in 2017

With 2016 rapidly drawing to a close, here are some thoughts regarding the types of litigation and legal/regulatory issues that will likely be top-of-mind for financial services companies, especially mortgage companies and banks, in 2017: RMBS Suits and Mortgage Repurchase or Indemnification Claims I admit it—I never would have thought, when I started working on … Continue Reading

CFPB Steps Up Oversight of Companies’ Compensation Programs Following Wells Fargo Scandal

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will likely be weakened by the incoming Trump administration and its Republican allies in Congress. Exactly how, and how much, remains to be seen, however—and, in the meantime, the agency continues to make its presence felt. Earlier this week, the CFPB warned companies that it oversees to take steps … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Sides With AmEx, Reversing Lower Court Victory for DOJ

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, a highly influential appellate court sitting in New York, on September 26 issued a unanimous ruling with major implications for antitrust and unfair competition laws, the payment card industry, and merchants that accept payments by credit card. The Second Circuit reversed a district court win … Continue Reading

CFPB and Banks Battle Over Arbitration Clauses, Class Actions

After the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 authorized its creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began operating on July 21, 2011. In the more than five years since it opened its doors, the CFPB has rarely appeared shy or hesitant about asserting its authority. Critics—most often the businesses over … Continue Reading

Home Depot Challenges Banks’ Standing to Recover Losses Related to Data Breaches

In the aftermath of major data breaches at deep-pocketed retailers and other businesses, there is typically no shortage of litigants who move quickly to seek compensation from the business at which the breach occurred. But whether the would-be plaintiffs’ claims get very far in court often depends on whether those plaintiffs are individual consumers, or … Continue Reading

“No Injury” Consumer Class Actions Weakened, but Not Killed, by Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court held Monday that the Ninth Circuit erred when it ruled consumers can sue companies without alleging actual injury. The Supreme Court ruled that a consumer could not sue Spokeo Inc. for mere technical violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Its holding left the door open for plaintiffs in other cases to … Continue Reading

A Day of Reckoning for the CFPB?

Virtually ever since its inception on July 21, 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has inspired wariness and skepticism `in the financial institutions and financial services providers subject to this new agency’s rather ill-defined “jurisdiction” and enforcement authority. As the CFPB embarked on an unmistakably aggressive campaign to exert authority over various sectors of … Continue Reading

Wells Fargo Pays $1.2 Billion Settlement, Admits Deception in Certifications

Calling the settlement a reproach for “years of reckless underwriting” at Wells Fargo, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan announced on April 8th that Wells Fargo & Co. formally reached a record $1.2 billion settlement of a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit. A notable feature of the settlement is Wells Fargo’s specific admission that it … Continue Reading

Fannie and Freddie Adopt IDR Policy for Repurchases

After years of litigation costing tens of millions of dollars, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has hit upon a way to expedite resolution of breach of representation and warranty claims that, if successful, could minimize costs. The FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will, from now on, purchase loans that provide for independent … Continue Reading

Big Win for Loan Originators/Sellers in Federal Appeals Court

Six victories that clients of ours had won over Lehman and Aurora in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado got affirmed on January 27 by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver after hotly-contested rounds of appellate briefing and oral argument.  In a 37-page written opinion, the appellate panel unanimously affirmed … Continue Reading

Tougher Scrutiny on Cybersecurity at Banks in 2016

Cybersecurity has been a focus as part of bank exams for years. Now the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is increasing its scrutiny of banks’ cybersecurity practices to ensure that the issue is getting appropriate attention from bank executives and boards. Bank regulators are planning to make cybersecurity a higher priority during bank exams as early … Continue Reading

Alphabet Soup and Data Security

In the span of two days, mobile device users learned of two data breaches that could compromise their personal data. In one, Experian (a credit reporting agency) reported that it was hacked, potentially putting 15 million American consumers’ data at risk. Many of those consumers were T-Mobile customers who needed to submit to a credit … Continue Reading

Banks Get Big Win in Challenge to New York Ordinance

Many big cities in the United States responded to the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis by passing local laws which pressure banks to invest more in low-income neighborhoods. Between 2010 and 2013, cities such as New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Boston, Minneapolis, Kansas City and Pittsburgh all enacted ordinances of this … Continue Reading

Financial Services Companies Seek Larger Payout in Target Data Security Suit

Attorneys for certain banks and other financial institutions that are caught up in Target’s 2013 data breach are objecting to the $67 million deal struck last week between the retailer and Visa Inc. The banks and credit unions are the only plaintiffs left in the data breach litigation after Target paid $10 million in March … Continue Reading

Court Revives Antitrust Suit Against MasterCard, Visa, Three Banks

A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit accusing MasterCard, Visa and three major banks of illegally fixing ATM prices to the detriment of consumers. A federal district judge had thrown out the lawsuit in 2013 after finding the plaintiffs failed to show any conspiracy to overcharge consumers. On Tuesday, the federal appeals court in … Continue Reading

Mid-2015 Mortgage Crisis Update – The Repurchase Demands Continue

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aggressively demanded Wall Street and big bank aggregators (“aggregators”) repurchase millions of defaulted and distressed loans, due to purported breaches of representations, warranties and covenants. In the past few years, there have been several blockbuster settlements with the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), such as Citigroup’s 2013 … Continue Reading

CFPB, DOJ Show Renewed Interest in Pursuing “Redlining” Cases

Evidence is mounting that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are taking a renewed interest in investigating possible redlining—the practice of lenders charging certain groups more for products, or altogether excluding minorities within certain geographic areas. There has been a substantial increase in recent months of warnings by government … Continue Reading

Quicken Loans Takes on the DOJ & HUD

Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed mortgage lender, filed suit on Friday, April 17 in the United States District Court in Detroit against the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In the suit, Quicken alleged that it is a target of a probe in … Continue Reading
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