Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland combines regulatory knowledge, industry familiarity and courtroom skill to provide seamless consumer financial services representation.
Today many consumer financial services companies find themselves the target of unprecedented regulatory action and legislative attention, as well as individual and class actions. The Dodd-Frank Act and newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) transformed the regulatory landscape and presents the industry with new challenges.
Defending consumer financial services litigation requires not only mastery of the substantive law—with its interrelated statutes and regulatory regimes—but also a command of subjects including class action defense, removal, arbitration and appealability. Sutherland’s team has deep and extensive experience in these areas. Our renowned litigation practice has extensive experience in consumer financial services law; many of the cases we handle are complex class actions and bet the company litigation. We litigate, among other things, fair lending claims, enforcement of consumer arbitration provisions and related class action waivers, truth-in-lending compliance, unfair trade practices and investigations/examinations by the CFPB and other governmental entities.
Our litigators have a national reputation for successful courtroom outcomes and out-of-court resolutions. We also have extensive experience arbitrating matters before all major arbitration service providers. Nearly one-quarter of the firm’s attorneys are litigators and have appeared in state and federal courtrooms around the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court. In the past decade we have defended consumer financial services class actions and other financial services related cases in state and federal courts across the country.
Ahead of trends. We closely monitor new developments that could impact consumer finance companies such as actions by the CFPB and evolving state and federal regulatory priorities, working proactively without clients to avoid potential lawsuits.
Leadership. Our consumer financial services litigation attorneys frequently lecture on topics involving consumer finance litigation and related areas. Sutherland Partner B. Knox Dobbins and Special Counsel Jason D. Stone recently published “The Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 - An Annotated Guide.” Additionally, we maintain CFPAguide.com to provide updates to our clients on issues as they develop in the wake of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.
Litigators with institutional memory. Consumer financial services litigation requires knowledge of how the business works and how it is and has been regulated. Sutherland’s litigators bring that institutional memory to new problems.
Crisis management. We are accustomed to high profile litigation and working with the client’s public relations and media experts when clients are targeted for criticism in connection with litigation or enforcement actions.
Nuts and Bolts
Our attorneys cover the full range of matters involving consumer financial services litigation, including:
- Automobile lending and leasing
- Enforcing consumer arbitration provisions and class action waivers
- Insurance and ancillary products sold in connection with consumer loans
- Fair lending, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act
- Service Members Civil Relief Act
- Truth-in-lending compliance
- State unfair trade practice laws
- Credit Repair Organizations Act
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- Fair Credit Reporting Act
- So-called predatory or subprime lending
- Bankruptcy discharge and other class actions
- State attorney general enforcement actions
- Remedies under the Uniform Commercial Code and state retail finance statutes
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
When consumer financial services companies are threatened with lawsuits, regulatory actions or investigations, they can turn to the experienced team at Sutherland to set a path toward resolution.
Oversees all significant litigation for one of the United States’ largest consumer finance companies.
Serves as principal outside counsel to one of the nation’s largest consumer finance companies and represents the company in all of its significant litigation, including class actions filed across the country alleging violations of various federal and state consumer protection laws such as usury, deceptive trade practices and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We have overseen cases for this client in state and federal courts and in arbitration in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, among other states.
Sutherland defends automotive finance company in wave of fair lending cases.
Sutherland represented one of the world’s largest auto finance companies in a series of nationwide class actions brought under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act challenging discretionary credit pricing by originating dealers as part of an industry-wide challenge. Our work included the only such class action to be tried and the first case to be denied certification.
Sutherland represents vehicle lessor in acquisition fee class actions.
Sutherland represented two major consumer leasing companies in a series of class actions in state and federal courts challenging the nondisclosure of administrative fees included in rent charges to consumers. Our work resulted in dismissal of the claims in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky.