Bryan Cave's Consumer Financial Services Litigation team represents financial institutions in high stakes cases nationwide. Our trial lawyers regularly appear in putative consumer class actions and individual claims in state and federal courts, including multi-district and bankruptcy actions, as well as in arbitrations and other alternative dispute proceedings. These cases often involve claims brought under TILA, HOEPA, RESPA, FCRA, FDCPA, ECOA, the Fair Housing Act, state unfair and deceptive practices statutes (UDAP), privacy laws, and the common law.  In addition to consumer disputes, we also represent institutions in connection with business to business disputes relating to their financial services activities. Our clients include banks, mortgage companies, mortgage servicers, credit card issuers, and insurance companies.

Many of these matters involve simultaneous government enforcement actions or investigations and multiple class actions, where the need to coordinate is paramount. Our team members across the U.S. — in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Irvine, Kansas City, New York, Phoenix, Santa Monica, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington D.C. — work together to provide a seamless and effective response. Our team, which includes former in-house counsel at major financial institutions, understands the variety of risk considerations involved in consumer litigation and regulatory enforcement. We work to achieve matter resolutions that meet both our clients' short term needs and broader strategic goals.

We represent clients in purported nationwide and statewide consumer class actions involving a variety of claims. These cases often challenge our clients' basic business practices, including the ability to charge certain fees, do business with affiliates, and foreclose on loan collateral, and involve issues with widespread industry impact. Current representations involve:

  • Claims under RESPA alleging sham fees, illegal kickbacks and/or marked up third party fees in connection with mortgage origination;
  • Claims against mortgage servicers under the FDCPA for alleged failure to provide debt validation and other practices;
  • Claims alleging state law claims for breach of contract or improper servicing activity in connection with servicing and REO sales;
  • Suits under state unfair competition laws relating to mortgage origination and servicing practices including force-placed insurance and servicing fees;
  • Suits alleging claims for failure to provide loan modifications;
  • Suits seeking rescission and other TILA remedies, as well as suits alleging unfair competition in the financial services industry.

Our practice involves much more than litigation. We also assist clients in pre-suit activities, such as internal investigations, development of internal company procedures and advice about avoidance of litigation risk.

Our Consumer Financial Services clients benefit from a variety of other Bryan Cave resources. Our Financial Services and Real Estate practices bring substantial knowledge of the complex regulatory and business environment in which our clients operate. Similarly, our Public Policy and Government Affairs practice includes preeminent lawyers and advisors who provide government relations and strategic counsel on issues that impact financial institution operations and business models. Bryan Cave’s One Firm philosophy promotes a cross-discipline approach to addressing our clients’ needs.

Bryan Cave's Client Technology Group is widely known for the innovative business and legal solutions it has created for a number of clients in the financial sector. For example, we developed a new technology solution that had a significant impact on legal spend for a national mortgage lender beset with hundreds of mortgage-related suits. Bryan Cave created a web-based risk assessment system that let lawyers develop risk and cost profiles very early in each matter and then track those variables throughout the life of each case. The availability at any point in a case of detailed risk and cost assessments highlighted cases that could and should be settled early, and that in turn reduced unnecessary discovery and trial expense.

Representative Experience

Truth in Lending Act Claims

  • Modrzejewski v. MortgageIT, Inc. (N.D. Ill.) Represented lender in putative class action alleging "confusing" disclosures provided at loan closing, and violations of TILA, the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and RESPA.  Case settled on individual basis after motion to dismiss filed.
  • Hess  v. Citibank (S.D.), N.A. (W.D. Mo.) Represented financial institution in putative class action alleging claims of TILA violation related to credit balances from certain cardholders’ accounts.  Summary judgment granted.
  • Obtained summary judgment on individual basis for leading national bank in putative statewide class action alleging violations of TILA, RESPA, FCRA, FDCPA and other common law claims in connection with mortgage origination. (N.D. Ohio)

Electronic Funds Transfer Act & Value Card Claims

  • Represent financial institution with respect to claims arising under the EFTA alleging failure to properly disclose ATM fees.  (S.D.N.Y.)
  • SPGGC, LLC; MetaBank; U.S. Bank, N.A., v. Kelly A. Ayotte (1st Cir.) Represented financial institution as issuer of open loop cards with respect to alleged inaccurate and incomplete disclosures.
  • Represent financial institution as issuer of open loop cards with respect to alleged inaccurate and incomplete disclosures. (Cal. Super. San Diego Cnty.)

Fair Credit Reporting Act  & FACTA Claims

  • Wilson v. H&R Block, Inc. (8th Cir.) Obtained summary judgment affirmed on appeal for financial services company in putative class actions alleging violations of FACTA seeking $4 billion in statutory damages.
  • Represented financial services company in class action alleging violation of the FCRA and New York laws relative to defendant's tenant screening reports.  Negotiated settlement.  (S.D.N.Y.)

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act & Unearned Fee Claims

  • Obtained dismissal for national financial services company in putative class action involving alleged violations of RESPA concerning pricing/disclosure of flood services products.  (Cal. Super. L.A. Cnty.)
  • Rice v. Lender Servs. Direct, Inc. and Alliance Title Co. (D. Ariz.) Obtained partial dismissal for real estate services firm in putative class action alleging RESPA and other fraud-related claims.  Matter then settled.
  • Represent title company in putative class action alleging Connecticut residents were charged “unearned fees” in connection with real estate financing transactions and that the charges violated RESPA.  (D. Conn.)
  • Represented title insurance company in putative class action alleging RESPA violations. (E.D. Mich.)
  • Represented national lender in putative class action alleging RESPA violations. (E.D. Mo.)
  • Obtained partial dismissal for national financial services companies in class action alleging violations of RESPA and RICO in connection with mortgage origination and appraisal services.  (D. Ariz.)
  • Defeated class certification for mortgage lending company in putative class action alleging violations of California Residential Mortgage Lending Act and RESPA relative to plaintiff's residential loan.  Plaintiffs brought three separate motions for class certification before three separate judges, each of which was defeated.  (C.D. Cal.)
  • Represent financial services companies in putative class action alleging RESPA sham entity theories.  (N.D. Cal.)
  • Obtained dismissal for mortgage lending company in putative class action asserting claims, including false advertising and violation of RESPA, arising out of real estate auctions. (C.D. Cal.)

Property Valuation Issues

  • Represented financial services companies in putative statewide class action alleging violations of RESPA and RICO in connection with mortgage origination and appraisal services.  (M.D. Fla.) 
  • Represented mortgage lending company in putative class action alleging conspiracy between multiple parties to inflate the value of plaintiffs’ new homes through allegedly fraudulent appraisals.  (Cal. Super. L.A. Cnty.)
  • Represent financial services companies in class action alleging violations of RESPA and RICO in connection with mortgage origination and appraisal services.  (C.D. Cal.)

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Claims

  • Cook  v. Certegy Payment Recovery Servs., Inc. (E.D. Va.) Represented financial services company in case involving claims of FDCPA violation and common law conversion.
  • Obtained dismissal for national mortgage servicer in putative statewide class action alleging violations of FDCPA.  (N.D. Ga.)
  • Obtained dismissal for national mortgage servicer in putative statewide class action alleging violations of FDCPA in connection with consumers in bankruptcy.  (N.D. Ind.) 

Lender-Placed Insurance  & Debt Cancellation Product Claims

  • Obtained dismissal for national mortgage servicer in putative class action alleging wrongful servicing and improper imposition of lender-placed insurance. Obtained dismissal.  (D. Guam)
  • Defeated class certification for mortgage backed securities trust trustee and national mortgage servicer in a putative nationwide class action alleging claims for breach of contract and unfair practices in connection with lender-placed insurance placement and loan payment application.  (Ohio Com. Pleas)
  • Represent regional national bank and national bank cards services company in putative statewide class action alleging deceptive practices in connection with debt cancellation products.  (Ga. Super. Clark Cnty.)

Mortgage Servicing Claims

  • Schwend-McCummiskey v. US Bank, N.A., et al. (E.D. Mo.) Represented US Bank in a class action involving the alleged failure to modify mortgage loans and the securitization of asset backed securities. Obtained summary judgment victory in February 2013.
  • Mandik v. Washington Mut. Bank (Ill. Cir. Ct. and Ill. App. Ct.) Obtained dismissal upheld on appeal for  lender in putative class action involving claims of violation of the Illinois Mortgage Act based on defendants’ alleged failure to timely send borrowers a release of mortgage.
  • Represent mortgage lender in class action alleging defendant failed to comply with certain mortgage servicing guidelines published by the Federal National Mortgage Association relative to plaintiff's private mortgage insurance.  (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Plaintiff v. Financial Services Compnay, as Trustee (N.D. Ohio) Obtained dismissal of class claims and stay action pending individual arbitration for lender in putative class action alleging failure to timely record a satisfaction of mortgage.
  • Represented national bank mortgage trustee in putative statewide class action alleging breach of contract in connection with REO sales.  (N.D. Ill.)
  • Represent mortgage servicer in putative nationwide class action alleging claims for unfair competition and other common law claims for relating ACH payments.  (C.D. Cal.)
  • Represent lender in putative class action alleging that assessment of certain charges and late fees breached terms of plaintiff's note and mortgage.  (C.D. Cal.)
  • Represent leading national bank in putative multi-state class actions alleging failure to adequately apply mortgage payments and improperly imposing late charges. (C.D. Ill.)
  • Represent leading national bank and mortgage securitization trust trustee in putative statewide class action alleging failure to modify mortgage loans and improper property preservation practices. (N.D. Ill.)

Unfair & Deceptive Acts & Practices Claims

  • Plaintiff v. National Home Mortgage Lender (8th Cir.) Represented lender in successful 8th Circuit appeal dismissing borrower's fraud and promissory estoppel claims relating to servicing of mortgage.
  • Represented multiple lenders in class actions involving Missouri's Second Mortgage Loan Act. (W.D. Mo.)
  • Defeated class certification and obtained individual summary judgment for  national lender in putative class action involving alleged fraud in connection with mortgage origination practices.  (Cal. Super. L.A. Cnty.)
  • Represent title insurance company in putative class action alleging plaintiff should have received a discount on a purchase of a title insurance loan policy issued by defendant.  (D. Md.) 
  • Obtained dismissal for lender in putative class action involving dispute over insurance proceeds payable after flood damage.  (N.D. Ind.)
  • Represent financial services company in putative class action asserting claims on behalf of Maryland residents for violation of the consumer protection act, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of good faith and fair dealing.  (Md. Cir. Ct.)
  • Represent financial services company in putative class action alleging violations of consumer protection laws related to defendant's collateralized loan program.  (N.D. Ill.) 
  • Johnson v. Equifax, Inc. (S.D. Ill.)  Defeated class certification and obtained individual dismissal for financial services company in action alleging consumer fraud and violation of federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. 
  • Represent title insurance company in putative class action filed by Texas consumers alleging overcharges for title insurance when mortgages were refinanced.  (N.D. Tex.)
  • Represented national mortgage lending company in putative class action alleging fraud and violations of state law unfair business practices.  (Cal. Super. L.A. Cnty.)