Practice Areas & Industries: Greenberg Traurig, LLP


Financial Institutions Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

The landscape currently facing financial institutions has been dramatically impacted by unprecedented events in the global marketplace. Greenberg Traurig's National Financial Institutions Practice Group is an interdisciplinary team of attorneys, including former in-house counsels, bankers and government attorneys, with domestic and international experience in representing financial institutions of all types. Our attorneys are experienced in assisting clients as they navigate the changing business and regulatory environment facing financial institutions, including advising clients in connection with new and reformed financial services regulations, increased regulatory scrutiny, distressed purchase and sale transactions, commercial lending, workouts, restructurings and insolvencies, and financial services-related litigation matters. 

Business and Finance Transactions and Restructurings

The nature of business transactions has changed with recent developments in the market. Our team is experienced in representing financial institutions in various types of transactions, including commercial lending, workouts, restructurings and insolvencies, purchases and sales of distressed assets and debt, capital-raising transactions and mergers and acquisitions. Our breadth of experience provides us with an understanding and knowledge of rapidly changing market standards for various types of transactions. Accordingly, our team is particularly well suited to advise and assist clients in this turbulent economic environment and beyond.

Commercial Lending and Leasing

Group members represent financial service providers and their customers in all types and sizes of commercial financings, including:

  • Syndicated and bilateral loans
  • Acquisition financings
  • Asset-based loans
  • Factoring
  • Project financings
  • Mezzanine financings
  • Equipment leasing
  • Real estate lending, including:
    • Acquisition and development loans
    • Construction loans
    • Leasehold financings
    • Multi-property and multi-state financing transactions

Workouts, Restructurings and Insolvency

We advise banks, private equity and hedge funds and other financial institutions on all aspects of reorganizations, bankruptcies, restructurings, workouts and buyouts. We represent distressed debt buyers in Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA) and non-LSTA transactions. Our clients also include buyers who are interested in holding the debt for investment purposes and for taking control of the underlying companies. This area requires coordination and interaction among the Financial Institutions, Business Reorganization & Financial Restructuring and Corporate & Securities Groups to accomplish the client’s goals in the most cost-efficient method.

Formation, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Divestment of Financial Institutions

The National Financial Institutions Group is experienced in the formation and licensing of financial institutions of all types, as well as their expansion, merger, acquisition and divestment before the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and key state supervisory authorities, including:

  • Acquisition of assets from FDIC-intervened institutions
  • De novo organization of banks and thrifts
  • Non-bank subsidiaries
  • U.S. branches, agencies and representative offices of non-U.S. banks
  • Stock and asset acquisitions and dispositions of financial institutions and holding companies
  • Branch acquisitions
  • Liquidation of existing branches and offices

Securities Offerings by Financial Institutions

We represent financial institutions, financial institution holding companies and their subsidiaries in public and private securities offerings and compliance with securities laws, including:

  • Initial and secondary public offerings
  • Debt and trust preferred securities
  • Shareholder and employee stock plans
  • Sarbanes-Oxley matters
  • Periodic SEC reporting

Swaps and Derivatives

The National Financial Institutions Group structures complex derivative products in both the conventional and municipal markets, including:

  • Interest rate, currency, equity, fixed income and commodity swaps
  • Caps, floors, collars and rate locks
  • Total return swaps
  • Credit default swaps
  • First to default swaps
  • Accreting basket swaps
  • Puts, calls, knock-in and knock-out options
  • Swaptions
  • Variance swaps
  • Warrants
  • Synthetic securities
  • Forward contracts, prepaid variable forwards and futures contracts
  • Guaranteed investment contracts
  • Benefit responsive investment contracts
  • Other Business Needs

The Changing Regulatory Landscape

A number of new and proposed regulatory reforms will impact financial institutions, directly and indirectly. Our Financial Institutions Practice, including attorneys from GT’s Governmental Affairs Practice, monitor executive and legislative branches of federal, state, and local governments, so that our attorneys are able to provide strategic planning and analysis and interpretation of legislation, amendments, administrative rules to clients as the regulatory landscape changes.

In addition, our Financial Institutions attorneys counsel clients in connection with federal and state banking laws and regulations, including:

  • Bank Holding Company Act and Regulation Y
  • Bank Secrecy Act, including the recent USA PATRIOT Act amendments
  • Change in Bank Control Act and Bank Merger Act
  • National Bank Act
  • Federal Reserve Act, including Sections 23A and 23B and Regulation O
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Act (including FIRREA and FDICIA)
  • International Banking Act, Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act and Regulation K
  • Gramm Leach Bliley Act
  • Community Reinvestment Act
  • Consumer protection laws and regulations such as Truth in Lending, Equal Credit Opportunity
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures and Fair Credit Reporting

We have represented regulated financial institutions (and their officers and directors) in connection with critical examination reports and enforcement actions relating to capital, asset quality, management, compliance and other issues. With offices in government hubs, we consult regularly with the staffs of the OCC, FDIC, Federal Reserve, OTS, SEC, HUD, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and state banking and securities agencies to give our clients the most practical solutions to their legal and regulatory issues.

The National Financial Institutions Group also represents consumer financial service providers in:

  • Federal and state regulation of consumer credit and other financial services
  • Residential mortgage lending and servicing
  • Defense of consumer litigation
  • Electronic lending
  • Privacy and information security
  • Credit, debit and stored value card system issuance, processing and operations
  • Automotive, boat and manufactured housing indirect lending
  • Product development, implementation and maintenance

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Task Force

The  mandate of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is to implement and enforce federal consumer financial law. Greenberg Traurig closely monitors the  CFPB's activities,  including  the robust discussion and  almost daily movement on multiple industry fronts the CFPB  makes as it redefines consumer finance law. An entirely new system has been and is being created for the consumer financial services industry. Once complete, the question will be, "How does our clients’ business match up?" Our GT CFPB Task Force regularly observes and analyzes the actions of the CFPB in order to advise clients in best practices for the days ahead.

CFPB's authority includes writing and issuing new rules, and interpreting virtually all federal consumer protection laws. It also has expanded reach to execute fair lending examinations and the power to prohibit "abusive actions." Its power includes subpoena and civil investigative demand (CID) authority, and the ability to file enforcement actions in U.S. District or state courts seeking relief including significant monetary fines. The CFPB is actively issuing CIDs as it continues to examine specific practices and a wide variety of industries.

Companies affected by CFPB include more than banks. Non-banks and service providers face the prospect of federal and state regulation that, until now, had not been affected. These companies will need to put in place new risk management processes and compliance procedures. Greenberg Traurig's interdisciplinary approach and expansive geographical reach enable us to offer clients the strategic insight they are looking for in this environment of increased and expanded regulation.

Our clients in the consumer finance sector who are affected by CFPB include:

  • Large Banks and their affiliates
  • Mortgage lenders and servicers 
  • Payday and consumer lenders
  • Electronic payment and money services businesses
  • Prepaid card issuers 
  • Private student lenders
  • Debt collectors
  • Vendors that act as "service providers" with regards to any of the covered entities that offer consumer financial products or services


Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Services Litigation Group represents clients in all facets of financial services litigation. Our national team of experienced litigators has represented banks, consumer finance companies, debt collectors, credit card issuers, and mortgage lenders and servicers in a wide variety of individual and class action disputes involving state and federal consumer protection laws including unfair deceptive trade practices, privacy issues, consumer fraud, breach of contract, disclosure violations, loan servicing, lender liability, debt collection, and credit reporting practices. Our clients range in size from some of the nation’s largest financial institutions to small closely-held corporations.

Our Financial Services Litigation attorneys are experienced in counseling clients in connection with the following:

  • Truth in Lending Act
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
  • Lender Liability
  • Abusive Lending Practices
  • Unfair Deceptive Trade Practices
  • Usury
  • State Regulatory Law Violations
  • Mortgage Foreclosures
  • Inter-Creditor Disputes
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act
  • Privacy and Information Security Issues


Services Available

Group Presentations
  ABA 2009 Consumer Financial Services Winter Meeting, Scottsdale, Arizona, January 11, 2009
Past Seminar Materials
  OffshoreAlert Financial Due Diligence Conference - 7th Annual , Miami Beach, Florida, April 26, 2009
IIB Annual Seminar: Risk Management and Regulatory Examination/Compliance Issues, New York, New York, October 21, 2008
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

CFPB Issues Proposed Rule for Larger Participants in the Nonbank Auto Lending Market
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, September 25, 2014
On September 18th, the CFPB issued a long-awaited proposed rule to define larger participants in the nonbank auto lending market. Once effective, the rule will give the CFPB power to supervise this group of financial institutions. The rule would define “larger participants” in the...

House Passes Bill Modifying Points and Fees Determination for Qualified Mortgages
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, September 25, 2014
On September 16th, by a margin of 327-97, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a consolidated bill, the “Insurance Capital Standards Clarification Act of 2014” (H.R. 5461), that would make adjustments to various provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The vote was taken under a procedure...

Virtual Currency - New York State Extends Comment Deadline on BitLicense Proposal
Michael A. Berlin,Carl A. Fornaris,William B. Mack,Jamey L. Tesler, September 15, 2014
On August 21, 2014, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) agreed to double the length of the open-comment period for its proposed virtual currency regulatory framework, extending the period another 45 days, to October, 21, 2014.

CFPB Issues Bulletin Regarding Marketing of Promotional Credit Card Offers
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, September 10, 2014
On September 3rd, the CFPB issued Bulletin 2014-02 warning credit card companies against deceptively marketing interest-rate promotions to consumers. The CFPB is concerned that consumers do not adequately understand certain types of credit card offers, such as balance transfers, deferred-interest...

CFPB Announces New Senior Management and Advisory Board and Council Members
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, September 05, 2014
The CFPB also announced the appointment of new consumer finance experts from outside the federal government to the CFPB's Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council and Credit Union Advisory Council. The Consumer Advisory Board is charged with advising and consulting the CFPB's...

USA PATRIOT Act/AML Update: FinCEN Issues Long-Awaited Proposed Regulations Regarding Beneficial Ownership Disclosure
Carl A. Fornaris,Wendy Li,Micah Schwalb, September 01, 2014
On July 23, 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN) published highly-anticipated proposed regulations that, if adopted into final regulations, would require banks, securities broker dealers, mutual funds, futures commission merchants, and...

CFPB Issues Proposed Rule Implementing Dodd-Frank Amendments to HMDA
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, August 26, 2014
On July 24th, the CFPB issued a proposed rule that would amend Regulation C to implement amendments to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) made by the Dodd-Frank Act. HMDA generally requires mortgage lenders to report information about loan applications they receive and about loans they...

CFPB Issues Report on Overdraft Charges
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, August 26, 2014
On July 31st, the CFPB issued a report on overdraft charges. The study is based on a set of account-level and transaction-level data from several of the large depository institutions which the CFPB supervises. In addition, the study was supplemented by CFPB research derived from a February 2012...

CFPB Takes Enforcement Action against Consumer Goods Retailer
Peter L. Cockrell, August 26, 2014
On August 14th, the CFPB entered a consent order with a company that operates a chain of consumer retail stores located mainly near military bases. The company also finances the sale of the goods. The CFPB alleges that the company engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by selling servicemembers,...

CFPB Takes Enforcement Action against Mortgage Lender for Deceptive Practices
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, August 26, 2014
On August 12th, the CFPB announced that it had entered a consent order with a mortgage lender. According to the CFPB, the mortgage company "lured consumers by advertising misleading interest rates, locked them in with costly up-front fees, failed to honor its advertised rates, and then...

CFPB, FTC, and 15 States Announce Suits against Foreclosure Relief Companies
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, August 26, 2014
On July 23rd, the CFPB, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and 15 states announced a concerted effort against foreclosure relief companies that were allegedly using false and deceptive means to market foreclosure relief services to distressed homeowners. The CFPB sued three companies, and...

Bankruptcy Court Lacks Subject Matter Jurisdiction to Determine Tax Refund Claim Requested by Post-Confirmation Liquidating Trustee
Scott M. Grossman, August 21, 2014
A bankruptcy court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to determine a tax refund claim under Section 505(a)(2)(B) of the Bankruptcy Code where the refund was requested by a liquidating trustee appointed pursuant to a plan, as opposed to a pre-confirmation bankruptcy trustee or debtor-in-possession,...

CFPB Begins to Study Mobile Banking
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, June 24, 2014
On June 11th, the CFPB announced the initiation of an inquiry into consumer issues presented by the use of mobile financial services. The CFPB issued a request for information (RFI) in order to aid its exploration of “how mobile technologies are impacting unbanked and underserved consumers...

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Recent Developments: June 9, 2014 - June 13, 2014
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, June 19, 2014
On June 11th, the CFPB announced the initiation of an inquiry into consumer issues presented by the use of mobile financial services. The CFPB issued a request for information (RFI) in order to aid its exploration of “how mobile technologies are impacting unbanked and underserved consumers...

CFPB Opens Advisory Board Meetings to Public
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, June 10, 2014
Bowing to industry and political pressure for greater transparency, the CFPB announced on May 20th that it will open fully to the public the meetings of its Consumer Advisory Board, its Community Bank Advisory Council, its Credit Union Advisory Council, and its Academic Research Council, starting...

CFPB Posts Spring 2014 Rulemaking Agenda
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, June 10, 2014
On May 23rd, the CFPB posted a semi-annual update of its rulemaking agenda. Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, federal agencies must publish their regulatory agendas twice a year.

CFPB Releases Study on Credit Reporting and Medical Debts
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, June 10, 2014
On May 20th, the CFPB released a study on medical debt finding that “consumers’ credit scores may be overly penalized for medical debt that goes into collections and shows up on their credit report.”1 The data set for the study consisted of five million credit records from...

CFPB Releases Supervisory Highlights Report
Peter L. Cockrell,Brett M. Kitt,Gil Rudolph,J. Scott Sheehan, June 10, 2014
On May 22nd, the CFPB released its latest supervisory highlights report, which summarizes significant examination findings of its Office of Supervision during the time period from November 2013 through February 2014. The report focuses principally upon its examination findings relating to non-bank...