Consumer Financial Services Litigation
Financial services companies face greater litigation risks and regulatory oversight than ever before. Cognizant of the stakes, Nelson Mullins' Consumer Financial Services Litigation attorneys help clients anticipate and avoid costly litigation when possible, and we work to defend vigorously and resolve successfully litigation that cannot be prevented. Our practice entails not only complex litigation and arbitration matters, including nationwide class actions, but also the sort of repetitive litigation that can present systemic or regulatory threats.
Nelson Mullins currently serves as principal litigation counsel for a number of leading financial services companies throughout the southeastern United States and Massachusetts. Firm clients span the spectrum of financial services institutions and include: national and state banks, thrifts, state and federally chartered mortgage lenders, loan servicers, consumer lenders, retail-broker lenders, automobile lenders and leasing companies, credit card issuers, payday and title lenders, and insurance companies. Nelson Mullins litigators currently represent a wide variety of lenders and loan servicers in the defense of consumer claims asserted in class actions, individual consumer suits, counterclaims to foreclosure actions, adversary proceedings in bankruptcy, and arbitration proceedings. Our experience representing sub-prime, alt-A, and prime mortgage lenders is deep and broad, reaching back to the savings and loan crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Our practice has grown through the so-called "predatory lending" debates of the late 1990s and the more recent financial crisis, and continues to evolve. Today, as financial services providers face a new, constantly changing regulatory and litigation landscape, including the backdrop of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, our lawyers are serving their clients' needs with creative and practical solutions.
Nelson Mullins' Consumer Financial Services Litigation practice includes over 50 attorneys in the Carolinas, Atlanta, Boston, West Virginia, and Washington, DC who are actively engaged in the representation of financial services companies of all sizes. We regularly defend litigation brought by well-known members of the consumer bar in North Carolina and West Virginia, among other places. Our experience encompasses the field of common law claims and the customary "alphabet soup" of statutory law, including:
- Civil Rights Acts
- Credit Repair Organizations Act
- Electronic Funds Transfers Act
- Equal Credit Opportunity Act
- Fair Credit Reporting Act/Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- Fair Housing Act
- Federal Arbitration Act
- Federal Home Loan Bank Act and OTS Regulation
- Federal Trade Commission Act
- FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule
- Gramm Leach Bliley Act/Consumer Privacy
- Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
- Home Owners' Loan Act
- Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act
- National Bank Act and OCC Regulation [relevant to national bank preemption and exportation]
- Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act
- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Regulation X
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act
- Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z
- Anti-Predatory Lending/Servicing Statutes
- Consumer Protection Code Provisions
- Credit Insurance Statutes
- Debt Adjusting Acts
- Fraudulent Transfers Acts
- High Cost Loan Acts
- Mortgage Lending/Servicing Regulations
- Unauthorized Practice of Law
- Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices Acts
- Uniform Commercial Code
- Usury Statutes
We stay abreast of developments at the leading edge of substantive financial services issues, and our attorneys are frequent speakers at national conferences concerning a wide variety of consumer financial services litigation issues, mortgage fraud, and the defense of class actions.
Many consumer disputes require resolution before arbitral forums. Our Consumer Financial Services Litigators frequently litigate the enforceability of arbitration agreements in individual and class actions, and have significant experience representing financial institutions before arbitration panels administered by the American Arbitration Association, JAMS, and the National Arbitration Forum.
Nelson Mullins' Consumer Financial Services Litigation practice includes experienced bankruptcy practitioners who litigate automatic stay violations, violations of the discharge injunction, avoidance actions by Chapter 7 trustees, improper application of funds received in Chapter 13 proceedings, and evaluation of claim treatment in the Chapter 13 process. Our bankruptcy lawyers have also assisted in adversary proceedings involving claims brought under TILA, RESPA, FCRA, state and federal fair debt collections statutes, and other consumer protection statutes. In addition to mortgage-related consumer claims, our attorneys have litigated arbitration and class action issues in bankruptcy court.
Members of Nelson Mullins' Consumer Financial Services Litigation practice have been involved in many of the seminal class action cases filed against financial services companies in the southeastern United States in the past twenty years. Our experience includes defense of nationwide and regional class actions involving alleged predatory lending and servicing, disclosure violations, statutory penalties, insurance products, FCRA "adverse action" and "firm offer of credit" cases, FDCPA claims, UCC "notice of sale" cases, and challenge to payday and title lenders practices. We have considerable experience litigating removal issues under the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), and we take an aggressive and proactive approach towards defeating representative class claims and class certification motions. If circumstances warrant, we also have substantial experience negotiating and overseeing complex class action settlements.
State Regulatory/Attorney General Investigations
For more than 30 years, Nelson Mullins has represented financial institutions before state regulatory bodies. Our attorneys have appeared before and negotiated with the North Carolina Banking Commission, the North Carolina Attorney General's Department of Consumer Affairs, the South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions, the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, and the South Carolina Attorney General's Civil Division. We have defended financial services clients in actions filed state attorneys general and regulators, and we have also defended financial services companies in class action claims which were follow-on actions arising out of state regulatory enforcement activities.
Practical, Cost-Effective Solutions
Because of our experience, knowledge base, and practice model, Nelson Mullins offers cost-effective litigation solutions to its financial services clients. We staff each case efficiently based on the size of the case and the risks involved. While we are experienced trial counsel, we work closely with in-house counsel at the outset of a case to evaluate settlement options in light of the case-specific and business practice risks. Our experience defending class actions and state Attorney General investigations has made us keenly aware of institutional threats latent even in some of the most ordinary cases. Whether a case merits a vigorous defense or an early settlement strategy, we have the experience to achieve a cost-effective solution.
Successfully managing complex litigation in the 21st century requires not only deep substantive knowledge and experience, but the ability to employ and leverage technology to advance our clients' interests. Nelson Mullins attorneys have a wide array of technological resources at their command, including in-house trial technology and electronic discovery professionals, as well as the hardware and software necessary to seamlessly analyze and utilize vast amounts of electronic data, both in discovery and in the courtroom. We have the ability to create "virtual workrooms" that allow clients to securely access documents and information regarding a specific case or series of cases. Utilizing technology in this fashion enables us to better serve our clients at a lower cost.