Consumer Finance Compliance & Defense
Balch & Bingham has unparalleled experience navigating the complex regulatory sphere that is consumer finance. With new changes and potential penalties for non-compliance, Balch guides companies nationwide through the government investigation gauntlet, including interpreting agency rules, assisting with consent order compliance, and defending against enforcement actions. As litigators in the compliance space, our goal is to establish and implement effective compliance programs that are designed to withstand regulatory scrutiny and set our clients up for success in any lawsuits.
Change isn't coming, it's here. Consumer finance and accounts receivable management compliance teams must carefully navigate a never-ending set of paradigm shifts in the regulatory landscape. Balch works alongside in-house counsel to prepare for ever increasing scrutiny in consumer facing operations and an uptick in enforcement actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and other federal and state agencies or officials. In addition, collection agencies continue to work through the changes to Regulation F (as well as regulatory and judicial decisions interpreting it) to ensure their compliance and operations are in line. Institutions should prepare for the CFPB’s increased activity by reviewing compliance management systems, verifying that consumer complaint procedures function properly, and ensuring those systems are regularly monitored to identify potentially unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP).
Balch & Bingham represents debt buyers, financing companies, banks, creditors, debt collectors, mortgage lenders and servicers, and other financial services companies in consumer claims arising out of state and federal consumer protection laws. This includes the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), as well as their state law corollaries.
- Create tailored compliance programs to prevent claims
- Assist well-established institutions with modernizing their compliance management systems
- Counsel companies facing regulatory compliance and risk management challenges
- Counsel clients on litigation avoidance or enforcement, including remediation scoping and execution, UDAAP analysis, fair lending risk mitigation, and FCRA compliance
- Prepare for and participate in CFPB or other government agency audits
- Defend companies and individuals in governmental investigations brought by the CFPB, FTC, DOJ, FDIC, FCC and state attorneys general
- Defend companies and individuals in consumer class action litigation
- Leverage acute understanding of how bankruptcy process claims for avoiding and defending claims arising from consumer bankruptcies
- Provide staff and third-party provider compliance training on communicating with customers
- Compliance counseling on best practices in the rapidly evolving financial services sector
Select Representative Experience
Supreme Court Imports State Law Penalties for Bankruptcy Filings
Represented Midland Funding, LLC, one of the nation’s largest buyers of unpaid debt in an alleged FDCPA violation. Balch argued issues of first impression in multiple courts, creating a circuit split that culminated in a favorable decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson, 137 S.Ct. 1407 (2017)
Nationwide Defense of Bankruptcy-Related FDCPA Claims
Lead national counsel for debt buyers in more than 200 matters, including nine class actions, involving FDCPA claims based on proofs of claim filed in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Lead national counsel for debt buyers and servicers in over a thousand matters, including over a hundred class actions, wherein we argue issues of first impression, develop and guide case law, and craft global strategies involving—in one instance—the creation of a circuit split that culminated in a favorable decision for our client by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
Defend against nationwide TCPA class actions and advise businesses ranging from electric utilities to small consumer financing companies on TCPA compliance and best practices.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Balch attorneys have shaped case law regarding FCRA preemption of state law claims and have equally deep experience defending FCRA claims, of all kinds, including all the way through trial.
Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts and Practices (UDAAP)
Defend consumer finance cases across the country and handle matters under numerous states’ unfair trade practices acts.
Truth in Lending Act (TILA)
Balch attorneys have obtained cases of first impression finding that its clients’ interest calculations and service charge practices comply with TILA, in addition to deep experience defending TILA claims of all kinds.
Consumer Finance Class Actions and Appeals
Argued and represented clients on consumer finance issues before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits as well as the U.S. Supreme Court as co-counsel. We regularly handle consumer class actions, obtaining favorable results ranging from voluntary dismissals to law changing and defining decisions.
Balch attorneys have a keen understanding of the intersection of consumer laws and bankruptcy. We regularly advise and defend creditors of all types in connection with bankruptcy filings, contested matters, and adversary proceedings.