The Buchalter Mortgage Lending Practice Group offers premier, comprehensive legal services to the residential mortgage lending industry. Our nationwide clients include banks, credit unions, residential mortgage lenders, brokers, servicers and investors; marketing firms specializing in lead aggregation for the mortgage industry; investment bankers involved in securitizing mortgage pools and warehouse lenders. Our Mortgage Lending Practice Group has considerable experience handling Federal and multistate compliance and licensing, litigation (both individual and class action defense), mortgage fraud, labor and employment, corporate and securities, business counseling, as well as default servicing (bankruptcy; loss mitigation; wrongful foreclosure).
Representing lenders on a nationwide basis in the atmosphere of today’s mortgage industry is especially complex. Our mortgage lending attorneys provide solutions to the entire spectrum of mortgage lending legal matters from the initial stages of federal agency and multistate licensing, and advising companies on corporate governance and operating agreements through structuring loan servicing operations and loan securitizations.
We understand that today’s mortgage lending industry is detail-oriented and specialized. In the compliance and licensing area, our mortgage lending group provides a complete range of regulatory and corporate advice to the residential mortgage lending industry including:
- Licensing and qualification – both initial licensing and licensing administration
- Federal Consumer Credit Laws including TILA, RESPA, HMDA, FDCPA, FCRA (as amended by the FACT Act)
- Multistate mortgage brokering, lending, servicing and debt collector laws
- Federal and multistate financial privacy, security and identity theft laws
- Federal and multistate advertising laws and disclosure requirements
- Corporate compliance under Sarbanes-Oxley
In the secondary market area, our mortgage lending attorneys provide a complete range of legal services and products including:
- Mortgage-backed securities and structures
- Correspondent lending, warehouse financing structures
- Conduit financing
- Loan participations
- Whole loan sales
- Securities disclosure matters
In the litigation area, our mortgage lending attorneys provide comprehensive services for litigation and default servicing matters including:
- California Unfair Business Practice (17200) defense
- Class action defense
- Defense of a wide range of claims including those involving federal statutes including the Truth-In-Lending Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, and state law claims including violation of consumer protection laws, predatory lending, wrongful foreclosure, and loan origination fraud
- Loan repurchase demands
- Tendering title insurance and escrow claims. Bringing actions against all major title insurance underwriters including Fidelity National Title Insurance Company and its various brands (Chicago Title, Commonwealth, Lawyers Title), First American Title Insurance Company, Old Republic Title Insurance Company, and Stewart Title Insurance Company, to address title defects that impair the lender’s security interest or defects in loan closings handled by a title insurance underwriter or its agent or escrow agent
- Pursuing claims against borrowers, brokers, or appraisers for fraud
- Enforcement of operating agreements including loan representative, loan broker, branch manager, correspondent lender, whole loan purchase and warehouse lender
- Business disputes including breach of contract actions, business torts and unfair competition
The mortgage lending group has achieved successful results for its mortgage lending clients in federal and state courts throughout the country, in a variety of cases ranging from individual consumer actions to massive class actions and multi-district litigation involving claims by hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs. The mortgage lending attorneys carefully evaluate each case on the merits, develop a specific plan of action, and take a cost effective approach with an eye towards defeating cases quickly by way of pretrial motions.
Representative litigation matters include:
- Won multiple motions to dismiss in federal court in cases brought under the FCRA against banks and credit card issuers.
- Successfully defended a major mortgage lender against alleged TILA violations in a multi-district litigation involving a nationwide class action and more than 1000 individual plaintiffs.
- Successfully defended dozens of debtor collectors from throughout the country in claims involving alleged violations of the FDCPA.
- Successfully defended regional banks in class actions involving alleged violations of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.
The firm’s Litigation Practice Group practices in federal and California state courts and has handled matters as lead counsel in federal and state courts outside California.
In the labor and employment area, our mortgage lending attorneys provide a complete range of support on matters such as:
- Litigating claims of California Unfair Business Practice (17200) violations, interference with business relations, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination, Labor Code violations, defamation, privacy infringement, fraud, infliction of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty
- Advice regarding employee and independent contractor policies, terminations, disciplinary actions, lay-offs and compliance with the numerous state and federal laws and regulations concerning employees and independent contractors.
- Representing management in employment and independent contractor contract negotiations.
In the corporate and securities area, our mortgage lending attorneys provide a complete range of support on matters including:
- Corporate formation and maintenance
- Private placements
- Public offerings
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Corporate disclosure