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Consumer Financial Services Answer Book (2015 Edition)

Author(s): Richard E. Gottlieb, Arthur B. Axelson, Thomas M. Hanson,
Practice Area: Banking
Date: Sep 2014 i Previous editions(s) can be found in the Related Items tab.
ISBN: 9781402422614
PLI Item #: 58677
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the subsequent creation of an entirely new regulatory agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), fundamentally altered the regulation of consumer financial services in the United States.

The completely updated Consumer Financial Services Answer Book 2015, written in a clear and accessible Q&A format, provides the practical guidance needed to fully understand these major changes and the latest developments in this ever-evolving field of law.

Authored and edited by numerous legal authorities who have compiled their expertise gained from their combined experience in consumer financial services matters, Consumer Financial Services Answer Book 2015 is intended for both the seasoned practitioner as well as those just entering the world of consumer finance.

The CFPB has been extraordinarily active over the past year, promulgating new rules, conducting numerous enforcement actions, filing amicus briefs, and otherwise letting its positions be known in informal guidance, speeches, and blogs. The editors – Richard E. Gottlieb, Arthur B. Axelson and Thomas M. Hanson – have followed these developments and addressed these activities in this practical Q&A guide, published annually since 2011.

Chapters on the core laws affecting all readers have all been updated – including the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Once again, the Answer Book also includes chapters (all updated) on fair lending, federal preemption, consumer automotive finance law, the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, state licensing, consumer bankruptcy, and privacy.

In a substantial expansion of its scope, Consumer Financial Services Answer Book 2015 includes new chapters on electronic records and eSignatures, credit cards, unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAP) laws, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and on short-term (payday) lending.

Richard E. Gottlieb counsels and defends banks, mortgage lenders, servicers, auto finance companies, retailers, insurers and other entities in a wide variety of matters, including the defense of both individual and putative class action suits alleging false or deceptive practices and statutory consumer lending violations, the defense of enforcement matters brought by state and federal agencies, and in providing regulatory and compliance advice. Prior to joining Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Mr. Gottlieb chaired the Consumer Financial Services practice at an Am Law 150 firm.

Mr. Gottlieb is a recognized national leader in the field of financial services. He has been listed in Chambers USA’s Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance Litigation category since its inception. Chambers notes he is praised for his “knowledge and problem-solving abilities,” his particular “expertise in consumer finance matters,” and further describes him as "incredibly client-focused." Richard is also one of only two lawyers to be elected a Fellow of both the American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA) and the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers (ACCFSL), where he is currently serving a four-year term on the governing Board of Regents. He is likewise an active member of various bar and trade associations, where he has held various leadership roles. 

Mr. Gottlieb is a frequent lecturer on financial services, privacy, fair lending, class actions and trial practice matters, and has been interviewed on programs such as NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and National Public Radio's All Things Considered. He is regularly published and served as co-author and lead editor for PLI's recently-published Consumer Financial Services Answer Book 2016 (Practising Law Institute), as well as all previous editions.


Mr. Gottlieb’s current and recent representations include the following:

  • Representation of servicers and mortgage lenders in connection with attorney general, state banking and federal agency investigations arising out of alleged defects in residential foreclosure processes.
  • Representation of mortgage lenders in defense of putative class actions alleging race discrimination in the extension of credit under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and other discrimination statutes.
  • Representation of retailers, financial services companies, debt collectors and other entities in defense of putative class actions alleging "blast fax," automated dialer, and related claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). 
  • Defense of multiple lenders in qui tam actions under the federal False Claims Act and state law equivalents.
  • Representation of major financial institution in multimillion dollar dispute over servicing transfer rights in connection with large commercial property.
  • Representation of lenders, servicers and insurers in connection with audits, market conduct examinations, civil investigative demands (CIDs), subpoenas, grand jury matters and enforcement activities.
  • Defense of individual and putative class actions alleging violations by lenders of federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Home Owners Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) and related statutes and regulations.
  • Defense of putative class actions against collection agencies and debt purchasers alleging violations of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
  • Prosecution and defense of numerous commercial, consumer and insurance arbitrations and mediations.
  • Defense of mass actions and putative class actions alleging improper denial of loan modifications under federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
  • Representation of automotive financial services clients in proceedings against dealers and guarantors.
  • Representation of major mortgage servicers and lenders in hundreds of actions seeking to circumvent residential foreclosures.

Significant Decisions

  • FM Industries v. Citicorp Credit Services, Inc., 614 F. 3d 335 (7th Cir. 2010). Affirming award of sanctions and fees against plaintiff and its counsel in software-based copyright action.
  • Wahl v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., 556 F. 3d 643 (7th Cir. 2009). Affirming grant of summary judgment in certified FDCPA class action, and broadly holding that an alleged false claim must likewise mislead unsophisticated consumers to be actionable, notwithstanding disjunctive language in statute. (Mr. Gottlieb argued.) 
  • Murray v. New Cingular Wireless, et al.; Bruce v. KeyBank N.A., 523 F. 3d 719 (7th Cir. 2008). Broadly rejecting "firm offer" FCRA lawsuits based on theory that mailings lacked value or that law requires all material terms in the initial mailer. This ruling effectively overrules Cole v. U.S. Capital (7th Cir. 2004). (Mr. Gottlieb argued.) 
  • Guise v. BWM Mortgage LLC,  377 F. 3d 795 (7th Cir. 2004), aff’g 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 14914 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 25, 2003). Concluding that solely the unreasonable portion of any excessive charge may be attributed to finance charge in determining tolerances under TILA. (Mr. Gottlieb argued on behalf of all appellees.)