Mortgage Industry Services

Experienced Counsel


Blank Rome’s mortgage industry group brings to bear over 25 years of experience in dealing with today’s mortgage market volatility and subprime mortgage crisis.  Our attorneys counsel banks, mortgage lenders, warehouse lenders, loan servicers, and company directors and officers currently affected by the subprime mortgage crisis.  The team is counsel to a number of parties involved in some of the largest mortgage industry bankruptcies to date.

Our mortgage industry team is a cross-disciplinary group of lawyers with related experience in the areas of bankruptcy, financial services, banking and regulatory, corporate litigation, commercial litigation, and white collar criminal defense and government investigations.  More information on our specific areas of experience is listed below.

Bankruptcy

Blank Rome is currently handling some of the largest subprime mortgage bankruptcies to date, including the following representations:

  • American Home Financial—Serve in a leading role as co-counsel to creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 of the nation’s tenth largest mortgage lender (Wilmington, Delaware).
  • New Century Financial—Serve in a leading role as co-counsel to creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 of one of the largest subprime mortgage lenders in the U.S. (Wilmington, Delaware).
  • Mortgage Lenders Network USA, Inc.—Serve as lead counsel to the creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 of a subprime mortgage loan origination and servicing business with over $17 billion in servicing assets as of the filing (Wilmington, Delaware).
  • Alliance Bancorp—Serve as counsel to Chapter 7 trustee of residential subprime mortgage lender (Wilmington, Delaware).

Our experience in this area is built upon our work on complex bankruptcies and workouts in other industries, and on our long history of working with Blank Rome’s transactional lawyers in workouts, restructurings and consensual liquidations of mortgage companies.

Financial Services Regulatory Experience

For many years, Blank Rome has been representing some of the largest financial institutions providing funds to the mortgage industry and their origination partners.  This experience allows us an in-depth perspective into the mortgage industry as it stands today.

Our experience includes the following areas:

  • State licensing
    • Coordinated national and regional licensing projects for mortgage lenders and their affiliates, offering different loan products and production channels.
    • Prepared numerous multistate licensing, fee restriction, and related compliance issue surveys.
  • Portfolio and company–sale regulatory and corporate due-diligence, including in the secondary-market securitization stage
    • Provide clients with quick and efficient due-diligence advice and assistance in evaluating portfolio documents (including applications, disclosure documents, notes, and security documents) for compliance with applicable state and federal laws and in evaluating the risks involved.
    • Represented a multistate mortgage lender in its successful acquisition of another multistate lender, including coordination of licensing and other regulatory approvals.
  • Representing mortgage companies before state and federal banking agencies, attorneys general, and HUD
    • Successfully defended mortgage, real estate, and insurance companies in real estate settlement procedures act (RESPA) enforcement investigations.
    • Successfully defended residential lenders before state human relations commission against allegations of discrimination in underwriting and pricing.

Litigation

Blank Rome represents companies, directors, and officers in various investigations conducted by state and federal regulators in the subprime mortgage industry.  For example, we are representing a public company in a high-profile investigation by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In addition, our mortgage industry team has successfully defended our consumer lending clients in individual and class-action lawsuits in numerous state and federal courts, including the U.S. bankruptcy courts.  We are particularly experienced at solving problems in the relationships among mortgage and installment credit lenders, brokers, and investors.  Finally, the group has had numerous successful representations of lenders in cases alleging “predatory lending” practices, including violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP).

Experienced Attorneys, Recognized in Their Fields

Members of the mortgage industry team include a former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the former inspector general of the U.S. Treasury, and the former executive director of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association.  Our attorneys frequently lecture before the Mortgage Bankers Association, RESPRO, and other regional and national industry trade groups, and publish regularly on issues concerning the mortgage industry.  In addition, several team members have been recognized as leaders in their fields by Chambers USA or the American College of Bankruptcy.