Buckley advises on a broad spectrum of licensing matters for state and federally chartered banks, mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers, mortgage servicers, secondary market investors, collection agencies, consumer finance companies, student loan companies, private equity companies, money services businesses, real estate brokers, property management companies, title insurers, escrow agencies, third-party loan fulfillment providers, fintech companies, auto lenders, foreign banks, and other financial companies in the U.S.
Our practice encompasses a variety of credit products, including home, consumer, commercial, and auto loans and leases, offering in-depth knowledge of the federal and state laws and regulations applicable to our licensed clients. Such laws include the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Regulations G and H.
Our attorneys provide strategic and structural licensing counsel to a broad spectrum of clients — including startup companies, private equity funds, and Fortune 500 companies. Our experience includes analyzing business plans to identify licensing and regulatory implications; preparing surveys to identify licensing and regulatory implications in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and most territories; advising strategic purchasers or targets regarding acquisitions, including due diligence of companies, assets and portfolios, transactional structuring, and identifying and obtaining associated state and federal regulatory approvals.
A core of our practice includes preparation and submission of company, branch, and, as applicable, individual license applications for virtually all credit-related licenses, as well as assisting with Secretary of State filings, trade name registrations, and other local and business registrations. Our attorneys have worked daily in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) on behalf of clients since its inception in 2008 and are well versed in the intricacies of the NMLS. We also assist clients with preparing and submitting applications for government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and federal agency approvals (e.g., Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)). In addition, we prepare periodic reports and Mortgage Call Report (MCR) filings; perform risk audits; assist with CFPB and state examinations, including Multi-State Mortgage Committee (MMC) exams; respond to regulatory enforcement actions; and advise on the requirements for reporting litigation, administrative actions, and other significant events.
As a complement to our broad knowledge base, we maintain strong working relationships with state licensing regulators and industry leaders, including the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR), where the firm is a member of the association’s Industry Advisory Council, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), and the Money Transmitter Regulators Association (MTRA).
Representative matters are as follows:
- Worked with a private equity firm on all aspects of its acquisition of a mortgage lending and servicing platform, including obtaining necessary approvals from state licensing regulators for asset acquisition, change of address, change of name, change of officers, and transfer of mortgage loan originator employees
- Drafted comment letters to various federal and state legislation and regulatory initiatives
- Prepared a response to a notice of administrative action sent by a state licensing regulator, negotiated a settlement agreement resolving the matter, and assisted with the reporting of the matter to other state licensing regulators, GSEs and agencies
- Performed a preemption review and 50-state state law gap analysis of state laws governing direct auto lending activities of a federal thrift in light of changes to federal preemption under the Dodd-Frank Act
- Worked with state licensed mortgage servicer to respond to multi-state mortgage exam
- Worked with private equity firm on acquisition of licensed money transmitter, including due diligence of target licensee and obtaining necessary approvals from state licensing regulators for change of control
- Represented publicly traded company in meetings with Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) and the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in connection with acquisition of state licensed mortgage lender
- Completed comprehensive 50-state review of state licensing requirements and Federal SAFE Act considerations applicable to third-party loan fulfillment providers operating offshore, including preparation of detailed statutory analysis supplemented by agency insight obtained directly from state mortgage regulators