Consumer Finance Investigation and Enforcement
You have just been served with a subpoena by a State Attorney General’s office, Banking Secretary or Commissioner or the new Dodd-Frank created Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. What is being sought? Who is leading the investigation? Why have they targeted your company? Is there an agenda and, if so, what do they really want? The answers to these questions and what you do next could be critical to your company, its exposure and the ultimate outcome.
Consumer finance investigations are almost never initiated at an opportune moment and often the outcomes are unpredictable and the penalties and exposure are high. The landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will greatly increase federal regulation of the consumer financial services industry. While the full details of the Dodd-Frank Act, including how the newly created Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection will operate, remain unsettled, what is certain is that banks and other lenders have never been under greater scrutiny and that the scrutiny will emanate from both federal regulators and States Attorneys General.
Womble Carlyle has been at the forefront of major financial industry investigations and related regulatory disputes for many years. Our lawyers are thought leaders who help shape regulatory and enforcement policy. We have relationships with the leading watchdogs and know how to keep them honest. All types of financial industry participants—banks, mortgage brokers, lenders, credit card companies, deferred deposit companies and others—are turning to Womble Carlyle for legal guidance in this evolving field.
Sometimes formal investigations can be avoided. Our relationships and experience are invaluable in that regard. However, should your company become a target, we can assist in:
- Working to understand your concerns and goals on the front end
- Negotiating limitations in the scope of the subpoena and investigation
- Maximizing confidentiality and exploit any opportunity for quick resolution
- Insuring that investigators act within their authority
- Preparing responses
- Gathering, analyzing and managing relevant documents
- Evaluating problem documents and areas of exposure
- Defending consumer financial institutions in investigation and enforcement proceedings
Today’s technology and easy electronic communication tools have resulted in an environment in which a formal investigation of any significant scope will result in gathering and review of a seemingly unmanageable volume of documents. Womble Carlyle’s Case Management Facility has decades of experience in providing cost-effective document management solutions for clients involved in large-scale investigations and litigation.
Should you retain Womble Carlyle’s Consumer Finance Industry Investigation team, your company will be represented by some of the nation’s leading authorities in consumer financial services regulation and compliance, as well as proven courtroom litigators.
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