Government Investigations, Examinations, and Enforcement

Government Investigations, Examinations, and EnforcementLawyers in Hudson Cook, LLP's Government Investigations, Examinations, & Enforcement practice area provide experienced support to consumer financial services companies and other clients facing government scrutiny. The lawyers in this practice area have, in the aggregate, decades of experience as private practitioners, in-house counsel, and counsel for federal agencies - including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) - offering valuable perspective to matters for which clients engage us, and helping us craft informed solutions through our understanding of clients' needs, as well as industry and regulator positions and concerns.

Investigations

Defending clients under investigation by financial regulators and law enforcement agencies demands unique skills, strategies, and substantive knowledge. Our experience in consumer financial services regulation and our familiarity with state and federal regulatory agencies help us work towards efficient resolution of government-initiated investigations. Whether it be narrowing the scope and burden of investigations, identifying and correcting regulators' misperceptions, or eliminating ill-conceived claims or investigations, we have been there. Representative engagements include:

  • a CFPB investigation involving an auto dealer for alleged unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) and Truth in Lending Act violations
  • a CFPB investigation of an auto finance company for alleged Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and UDAAP violations
  • a CFPB investigation regarding mortgage advertising claims that resulted in no action by the CFPB
  • FTC investigations of auto dealers for alleged deceptive practices in connection with credit advertising and the sale of used vehicles subject to open safety recalls
  • an FTC investigation involving online lead generation and alleged deceptive practices
  • Investigations by State Attorneys General and regulators for alleged UDAAP and state law violations
  • Investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice of auto finance companies pursuant to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA)

Examinations

Examinations involve an extended process that demands careful preparation, quick responses, and effective remedial action. We assist clients in preparing for examinations by scrutinizing and evaluating the effectiveness of an organization's compliance efforts, and assisting with the implementation of Compliance Management Systems consistent with the organization's legal and regulatory obligations. We also assist clients in developing remediation plans. During examinations, we help clients respond to inquiries and otherwise navigate the examination process with an eye toward resolving issues informally through the non-public supervisory process. When regulators identify violations of law, we advocate for non-public resolutions through responses to CFPB Potential Action and Request for Response (PARR) Letters or similar notices from regulators. Representative engagements include:

  • Assisting banks and service providers in responding to OCC, Federal Reserve Board, and other prudential regulators’ examination findings
  • Assisting consumer financial services providers in preparing for CFPB supervision and in navigating CFPB examinations
  • Crafting remediation plans and corrective actions in anticipation of, or in response to, examinations
  • Drafting PARR Letter responses for consumer financial services providers, sometimes resulting in no public enforcement action and elimination of supervisory findings
  • Helping banks respond to FDIC examination of mortgage operations

Enforcement

Enforcement actions arise when a supervisory or investigative matter cannot be resolved informally. We can usher clients through the enforcement process, working with them through settlement negotiations, litigation and appeals, and otherwise advocating for their interests. Representative engagements include:

  • CFPB litigation against an auto finance company relating to military lending practices
  • Negotiation of settlement agreements on behalf of a variety of consumer financial services providers, including auto finance companies, auto dealers, small dollar lenders, debt collectors, and others
  • Preparing for and assisting with litigation on behalf of clients