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Financial Services Litigation

Client and Industry Challenges

Operating in an increasingly complex and volatile regulatory environment, and infrequently faced with consumer class action efforts, financial institutions often seek experienced outside counsel to manage and mitigate their risks and strategically execute their business objectives.

Snell & Wilmer's financial services litigation group is experienced in representing all aspects of the financial services industry in a broad range of litigation matters. Our team adds value through efficiency by possessing a thorough working knowledge of all applicable federal and state statutes, common forms of account documentation and related case law, including the Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Homeownership Equity Protection Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Uniform Commercial Code, consumer fraud statutes and related state law counterparts.

Our financial services attorneys have represented financial institutions in mediation, arbitration, trials and appellate matters in cases ranging in size from individual consumer cases to nationwide class actions. Our attorneys also have experience with interfacing with state and federal regulatory organizations, as well as the representation of bank officers and directors in D&O litigation and internal investigation experience.

Clients We Serve

Our comprehensive service to the financial services industry includes the representation of national and local banks, investment and commercial banking organizations, venture capital firms, investment advisors, merchant processing and service organizations, insurance companies, credit card issuers, mortgage lenders and servicers, automobile and motorcycle finance and servicing organizations and securities broker-dealers in matters involving a variety of business and product lines.

Why Clients Select Us

Experienced and Client-Focused: Our financial services attorneys are an interdisciplinary group comprised primarily of members of our commercial litigation, securities litigation and investigations, commercial finance and bankruptcy groups. Attorneys in each of these practices have a focus on and have significant experience representing a wide range of financial institutions. Our attorneys have extensive experience in establishing good working relationships with our client's internal litigation support personnel to effectively provide the early assessment necessary to ensuring cost-effective management of individual consumer cases.

Experience

Our representative financial services litigation matters include:

  • Represented multiple mortgage lenders and servicers in hundreds of matters commenced by homeowners seeking to prevent residential loan foreclosures throughout the West
  • Assisted with lender liability claims including loan commitments, bad-faith dealing, termination of credit and wrongful acceleration of foreclosure
  • Represent national mortgage finance company/secured creditor in SEC receivership concerning loans secured by numerous multifamily properties
  • Represent lender/mortgage loan servicer in federal False Claims Act litigation over allegedly false certifications to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac concerning homeowners’ associations assessments
  • Defended financial institutions in matters arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, Truth in Lending Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act and various federal and state consumer protection statutes
  • Assisted with demand deposit account disputes involving, check fraud, check kiting, presentment and clearing issues
  • Served as counsel in residential mortgage litigation involving interest rate disclosures, fees, payoff amounts, account reconciliation, insurance coverage, foreclosure and loan modification issues
  • Served as counsel in merchant processor litigation involving hold-backs, unauthorized business lines, termination, fees, commissions for merchant processor sales representatives, and contract disputes involving merchant account agreements
  • Served as counsel in credit card litigation involving allegations of fraudulent transactions, authorized users, reversed charges, application of payments, interest rate disclosures and modifications, change in terms, fees and disclosures for related products and services, Fair Credit Reporting Act and Truth in Lending Act issues
  • Represented a national banking organization in litigation arising out of alleged participation of senior bank officer in Ponzi scheme
  • Represented multiple national banking associations and credit card issuers in matters throughout the West in connection with issues arising from fraudulent debt avoidance schemes utilizing sham arbitration awards issued by unauthorized arbitration forum
  • Defended a regional bank in $15 million litigation arising out of its sale on the secondary market to investment bank of 60 "Alt A" mortgage loans originated in 14 states for securitization and sale to investors. One of the first litigation matters in the country arising out of the "subprime mortgage crisis." Issues included the adequacy of the original origination and appraisal efforts, potential breach of sales representations and warranties, sufficiency of servicing efforts, analysis of the true cause of mortgage defaults and the adequacy of REO liquidation efforts
  • Represented former officers and directors of failed bank in connection with FDIC subpoena and investigation
  • Represented financial institutions in connection with commercial loan disputes including obtaining appointment of Receiver, enforcing loan documents, enforcing personal guaranties and navigating issues presented by loss sharing agreements with the FDIC

Financial Services Class Action Litigation

Snell & Wilmer's financial services litigation attorneys have significant experience defending national financial services institutions and Fortune 500 companies in state and national class action litigation alleging various consumer claims and regulatory violations, including experience with MDL proceedings in class actions.

  • Represented national banking association in Truth in Lending Act class action arising out of interest rates assessed in connection with co-branded affinity credit card agreements
  • Represented national banking association in a nationwide class action relating to late fees assessed in connection with revolving credit card accounts. Facilitated early resolution of the matter, negotiated, documented and administered settlement with nationwide class
  • Represented national financial institution in a purported nationwide class action arising out of fees assessed in connection with consumer payoff of residential mortgage loans

Broker-Dealer Representation

The FINRA arbitration and securities litigation practice of our financial services litigation team includes representing a number of financial institutions, including retail and investment banks, commercial lenders, underwriters, broker-dealers, investment advisors and privately-held companies in federal and state courts and SRO arbitration proceedings. Snell & Wilmer's financial services litigation team has represented such clients in matters involving claims for violations of federal and state registration and securities fraud statutes, unsuitability, selling-away, churning, unauthorized trading and failure to supervise. Our attorneys also represented brokers and broker-dealers in regulatory investigations and related proceedings.

Employment Counseling & Litigation

Snell & Wilmer attorneys have significant experience counseling financial institutions regarding a broad range of employment issues, as well as representing financial institutions in employment litigation. Having experienced employment counsel who understand the unique concerns that face financial institutions is critical. Our financial services employment attorneys have the knowledge and experience to provide innovative and effective representation to our financial institution clients in a broad range of employment matters.