Archives: Litigation

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NYSDFS Sues to Block the OCC’s Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

On September 14, 2018, Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYSDFS”) Maria T. Vullo filed a complaint in federal court against the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) to block the OCC from issuing any special purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charters. The OCC announced last month, after much … Continue Reading

Hiring of Administrative Law Judges to Change

A recent United States Supreme Court case and new executive order will change the way federal agencies hire administrative law judges (“ALJs”), and together are expected to increase ALJs’ accountability to the heads of their agencies. On June 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court held in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission that the … Continue Reading

Federal District Court Judge Declares Bureau Unconstitutional

On June 21, 2018, U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska (S.D.N.Y.) ruled that the structure of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “Bureau”) was unconstitutional and, therefore, the Bureau lacked authority to bring claims under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”). The ruling rejected the D.C. Circuit’s en banc opinion in PHH that upheld … Continue Reading

SEC Proposal Dives Into Long-Standing Debate About the Duties of Investment Professionals

On Wednesday, April 18th, the SEC introduced a much-anticipated package of proposed rules and formal guidance concerning the standards of conduct for financial professionals. The more than 1,000-page proposal, which emerged eight years after Congress required the agency to conduct a study on the topic, addresses whether investment advisers and broker-dealers should have identical or … Continue Reading

CFPB’s Fair Lending Office Stripped of Supervision and Enforcement Powers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau” or “CFPB”) has made its first major organizational change under the leadership of Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. The Bureau moved the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity (the “Fair Lending Office”) inside the Office of the Director and stripped it of responsibility for enforcement and day-to-day oversight … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Ban on Retailers’ Credit Card Surcharges

On January 3, 2018, in Italian Colors Restaurant v. Becerra, No. 15-15873, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit invalidated an application of a California law that would prohibit merchants from imposing a surcharge on credit card payments. The California law would allow offering discounts for payments by other … Continue Reading

CFPB Acting Director Institutes Suspension of Data Collection, Reveals Plans to Bring in More Political Appointees, and Announces Review of Pending Enforcement Matters

Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney made three important announcements this week.  First, on December 4, he announced a suspension of the agency’s collection of consumers’ personal information due to concerns about cybersecurity. Mulvaney, who said he is taking data security “very, very seriously” according to The Wall Street Journal report (paywall), explained that the Bureau … Continue Reading

Industry Coalition Challenges CFPB Arbitration Rule in Court

On September 29, 2017, a coalition of bank and trade associations filed a federal court challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB” or the “Bureau”) arbitration rule. The industry group plaintiffs allege that the arbitration rule is illegal on four grounds, including that the CFPB’s actions are unconstitutional, and that the Bureau violated the … Continue Reading

Federal Court Takes Expansive View of CFPB Statute of Limitations, Limits Restitution

On September 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California entered an order granting a civil penalty and injunctive relief in a CFPB case against mortgage loan servicer Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. (“Nationwide”), its wholly-owned subsidiary Loan Payment Administration, and the principal of Nationwide. In its suit, the CFPB alleged that the … Continue Reading

District Court Sanctions CFPB for Discovery Misconduct; Dismisses Five Defendants from Lawsuit

On August 25, 2017, a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Georgia dismissed five payment processor defendants from a CFPB lawsuit, following what the Court described as the repeated failure by the Bureau to follow court discovery orders. In particular, the Bureau refused to provide factual evidence supporting the elements of … Continue Reading

CFPB Publishes Final Rule on Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements

Earlier this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published a final rule substantially curtailing the ability of financial services providers and consumers to enter into voluntary pre-dispute arbitration clauses.  The final rule, like the proposed rule that preceded it, would i) prevent financial services providers from including arbitration clauses in consumer contracts unless those arbitration … Continue Reading

CFPB Seeks Contempt Order against Investigation Target

On June 21, 2017, a federal district court judge referred to a magistrate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) first attempt to obtain a contempt finding against a subject who allegedly failed to comply with a civil investigative demand (“CID”). The matter arrived in district court in November 2016, when the CFPB first sought judicial … Continue Reading

Texas District Court Rules that Notification of Purpose in CFPB CID Provides Fair Notice

On January 5, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) issued a civil investigative demand (“CID”) to The Source for Public Data, L.P. (“Public Data”), a company that collects personal information about consumers. The CID requested information to determine whether consumer reporting agencies, persons using consumer reports, or other persons have engaged or are … Continue Reading

Kokesh v. SEC and Implications for Consumer and Financial Regulatory Agencies

In its decision in Kokesh v. SEC, issued on Monday, June 5, 2017, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that “disgorgement” of ill-gotten gains by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is a “penalty” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2462.  As a result, disgorgement is unavailable to the SEC in judicial proceedings involving conduct … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Holds Oral Argument in Rehearing of PHH v. CFPB

On May 24, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held en banc oral argument in the rehearing of PHH Corp., et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“PHH”).  The lively oral argument extended well beyond the time originally allotted by the Court, as lawyers for PHH, the Department of Justice, and … Continue Reading

Conference of State Bank Supervisors Sues To Stop OCC Fintech Charters

On April 26, 2017, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) filed a complaint against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) and Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry to block the agency from going forward with its proposal to grant special purpose national bank charters to fintech companies. The CSBS filed … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Panel Rules that CFPB Civil Investigative Demand is Overly Broad and Unenforceable

On April 21, 2017, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that a civil investigative demand (“CID”) issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (“ACICS”) was overly broad and unenforceable.  The D.C. Circuit’s decision sets an important precedent … Continue Reading

United States Files Amicus Brief in PHH Case

On March 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae in PHH Corporation v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 839 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2016), a case challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB’s single-director structure pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia … Continue Reading

Solicitor General Requests Extension to File Amicus Brief for PHH v. CFPB and Signals Potential Shift in Support for the CFPB

As we previously discussed, on February 16, 2017, the D.C. Circuit granted rehearing en banc in PHH v. CFPB and vacated the holding from the three-judge panel that the CFPB’s single director structure was unconstitutional. Through an unopposed motion filed on March 3, 2017, the Office of the Solicitor General (“SG”) requested an extension to file … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Grants Rehearing En Banc in PHH

The D.C. Circuit today granted rehearing en banc in PHH Corp., et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“PHH”), vacating the prior order that, among other things, found the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) structure unconstitutional. The court directed the parties to brief a set of questions related to: the constitutionality of the Bureau’s structure; … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Holds Open a Narrow Path for Challenging Bank Supervisory Ratings

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently issued a rare decision on a bank’s ability to challenge its supervisory ratings—in this case, its Federal Deposit Insurance Company (“FDIC”) Capital, Assets, Management, Earnings, Liquidity and Sensitivity (“CAMELS”) rating—in court.  See Builders Bank v. FDIC, — F.3d —, 2017 WL 237585 (7th Cir. 2017) … Continue Reading
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