Practice/Industry Group Overview
Burr has a national financial services litigation practice that serves as national litigation counsel for two of the top five financial institutions and regional counsel for a number of others.
The Burr team defends banks, credit card issuers, mortgage originators, mortgage servicers, auto finance companies, and debt collection/debt buying professionals, in class, mass, and individual actions throughout the country.
Our Financial Services Litigation team also regularly defends against suits brought by various governmental entities such as state attorney generals, as well as CPFB investigations. The Financial Services Litigation team has offices in the most litigious venues in the country, including South Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.
Burr & Forman has extensive experience defending auto finance claims. This experiences ranges from defending state law law claims involving wrongful repossession, intentional tort and contract claims to federal claims alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), Truth in Lending Act ("TILA"), and Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") as well as numerous other alleged violations of state and federal law. Burr & Forman attorneys also have significant experience enforcing arbitration agreements contained in retail sales installment contracts. Burr & Forman's attorneys specializing in this area of the law have experience defending these type claims not only in the five states Burr has offices but also Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kentucky and Arkansas
Banking and Credit Card
Burr & Forman has considerable experience representing and advising banking institutions in litigation. The firm's experience includes representing and advising commercial and consumer lenders, finance companies, credit unions, and mortgage lenders and servicers and credit card issuers. The firm has served as local, regional, and national trial and arbitration counsel on behalf of its banking and financial service clients in matters within and outside the Firm's present five-state footprint. The firm has handled a broad array of litigated matters on behalf of its banking and financial service clients, including class actions, individual matters, and governmental and Attorney General investigations involving lending disputes, breach of contract, alleged lender and servicer misconduct, unauthorized asset transfers, actions to recover from principals or guarantors, bankruptcy procedures and practices and bankruptcy advisory proceedings. Our experience includes litigation involving FCRA, FDCPA, FCBA, TILA, Regulation Z, Truth-in-Savings Act, Electronic Funds and Transfer Act, E-sign and Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, Gramm-Leech-Bliley Act, RICO, HOLA, TCPA, DIDMCA, HOEPA, state predatory lending laws, state privacy laws state UDAP laws and federal preemption of state law causes of action.
Because the law, regulatory environment, and business practices within the banking and financial service industry are ever-evolving, the firm is committed to an ongoing partnership with its clients to address not only matters involving present litigation, but matters involving threatened and potential litigation that early legal counsel and advice may reasonably prevent.
Mortgage and Consumer Loan
Burr & Forman's Financial Services Litigation group is nationally known for its knowledge and expertise in mortgage litigation. Burr & Forman's consumer finance attorneys have substantial experience representing mortgage originators, correspondent lenders, mortgage servicers and investors in disputes with borrowers brought under both state and federal laws. This includes origination claims brought under the federal Truth-in-Lending Act ('TILA"), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"), Home Owners Equity Protection Act ("HOEPA"), Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA"), as well as other federal statutes. Our extensive litigation experience ranges from defending class actions and mass actions down to single plaintiff cases dealing with both origination and servicing disputes.
Burr & Forman attorneys have consistently been featured on the national speaking circuit with presentations on recent developments in mortgage litigation. This has included cutting-edge talks on litigation surrounding the Home Affordable Mortgage Program ("HAMP"), mortgage repurchase demands, TILA amendments, and many other relevant topics. With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as well as the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ('CFPB"), Burr & Forman attorneys have authored numerous articles on the effect recent statutory and regulatory changes will have on the mortgage industry.
Finally, Burr & Forman attorneys have wide-ranging experience dealing with state common-law claims in the Southeastern United States. Burr & Forman attorneys have played a leading role in developing favorable case law for mortgage lenders throughout the Southeast. We recognize the threat that state common-law claims can present to mortgage lenders, regardless of compliance with federal law, and are well-equipped to handle these claims through both the pleading stage and at trial.
Representation of Collection Professionals and Debt Buyers
Burr & Forman's Financial Services Litigation group has significant experience representing retail collection professionals and attorneys, as well as debt buyers, in litigation throughout the country. This experience includes representation in both individual and class actions involving alleged violations of federal and state statutes, as well as state common law claims. Our attorneys have representative experience in the following areas:
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"). Burr & Forman attorneys have been at the forefront of FDCPA litigation during the last five years, in which courts across the country have seen a dramatic increase in the number of filed FDCPA cases. Burr & Forman attorneys have presented on the FDCPA both internationally and throughout the United States, providing consistent updates on developments in case law and cutting-edge defense litigation techniques. Our attorneys have experience dealing with both FDCPA class actions and individual lawsuits, and have had substantial success attacking the merits of plaintiff's claims at the outset of litigation.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"). The past several years have seen a marked increase in the number of TCPA cases filed throughout the United States, and Burr & Forman attorneys have been at the forefront of developing TCPA case law and defending their clients against TCPA claims. This experience includes representation of clients in nationwide TCPA class actions. Burr & Forman attorneys also provide timely, informative updates to a wide-variety of clients and attorneys regarding TCPA case law developments.
Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). Oftentimes, lawsuits against collection professionals and debt buyers include FCRA claims and the attorneys at Burr & Forman have extensive experience with litigating and defending against FCRA claims. Attorneys at Burr & Forman have had significant success defending these claims at the initial stages of litigation and have been heavily involved in the development of positive case law defining and expanding the reach of FCRA in preempting state law claims related to credit reporting.
State collection laws. Our attorneys also have experience defending clients against alleged violations of state collection lawsuit, including the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act ("FCCPA"). Oftentimes, these statutes can differ from the provisions of the FDCPA and require a thorough understanding of the individual state's statutory scheme and case law. Burr & Forman attorneys have experience defending these cases individually, and when they are paired with alleged FDCPA violations, and have a presence in all five Southeastern states that are home to Burr & Forman's numerous offices. Several Burr & Forman attorneys have provided case law updates and presentations on individual state collection statutes and are recognized as industry leaders in defending against these claims.
State common law claims. Often accompanying claims under the federal statutes listed above, state common law claims related to collection activity and credit reporting can create significant hurdles for retail collection professionals and debt buyers. Attorneys at Burr & Forman are well-equipped to handle the defense of these claims and have had significant success in obtaining favorable decisions finding the preemption of these claims.
Proving ownership (assignments and transfers in ownership). Burr & Forman attorneys are well-versed in the issues faced by collection professionals and debt buyers in proving the ownership of debt obligations in state court. Burr & Forman attorneys have provided numerous presentations to industry leaders on the best practices in assigning and obtaining ownership of accounts and the evidence required to prove ownership in state court collection lawsuits.
Trials, Arbitration and Class Actions
Burr & Forman's Financial Services attorneys are frequently retained on behalf of their clients to try and arbitrate cases not only within the firm's five-state footprint but throughout the country. This experience includes serving as first chair trial and lead arbitration counsel for leading companies in the financial services industry in both single-plaintiff and class action litigation.
Class action filed against national financial services client concerning notice requirements under TILA's section 1641(g).
Credit and Financing
Successfully resolved a seven-figure dispute on behalf of large national bank arising from a letter of credit to secure purchase money financing for oil pump units in Texas.
FCCPA and TCPA Violations
Successfully negotiated nominal settlements regarding alleged FCCPA and TCPA violations for a national creditor. Settlements included "walk aways" where plaintiff collected zero compensation and both sides bear their own fees and costs.
FCCPA and TCPA Violations
Obtain defense judgment in US Bankruptcy Court Middle District of Florida for national creditor in case where plaintiff alleged violations of the FCCPA and TCPA.
On appeal, obtained per curiam affirmed (PCA) opinion upholding a judgment in the national creditor client's favor, denying the award of attorney fees on an FCCPA claim.