Akerman Adds Team of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Regulatory and Enforcement Lawyers

Jan 14, 2016, 15:05 ET from Akerman LLP

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, today announced the expansion of one of the largest national legal teams dedicated to the financial services sector, serving clients in all 50 states. Previously known as the Consumer Finance Litigation & Compliance Practice Group, Akerman's Consumer Financial Services Practice Group has welcomed two senior lawyers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Partners Thomas Kearney and Mary (Molly) Calkins. They join the firm's Washington, D.C. office and jointly enhance the Practice Group's experience in federal and state compliance as well as operational support capabilities.

"Tom and Molly bring a tremendous combination of experience in financial rulemaking and enforcement, with a thorough understanding of the compliance challenges resulting from CFPB actions," said William Heller, chair of Akerman's Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. "They build upon our team's extensive experience in the home loan space, adding a deep understanding of evolving federal and state laws governing bank and non-bank consumer debt originators and servicers."

Kearney joins Akerman from the CFPB's Office of Regulations where he played a key role in the development and drafting of multiple mortgage originations related rulemakings. He most recently led the team responsible for the final Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule. Kearney also drafted substantial portions of the CFPB's Truth in Lending Act—Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure or Know Before You Owe rule and the Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage rules. He handled outreach, guidance and training on various CFPB efforts under Dodd-Frank, in addition to providing guidance to Congress, federal agencies, and other CFPB offices on legal and regulatory issues arising under HMDA, RESPA and TILA. Prior to the CFPB, Kearney worked for several years as in-house counsel for a provider of mortgage compliance services to national banks, securitizers, non-depository mortgage lenders and other financial services companies.

Calkins joins Akerman from the CFPB's Division of Supervision, Enforcement & Fair Lending, where she led investigations into a broad array of potential consumer protection violations. Her enforcement matters involved fair lending, auto finance, mortgage lending and servicing, credit cards and bank deposit products, credit reporting, student loans, and debt collection. As a founding member of the Bureau, Calkins also coordinated the CFPB investigations with state attorney generals and other federal regulators such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Trade Commission, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Prior to her work at the CFPB, Calkins was counsel at the FDIC's Professional Liability & Financial Crimes Section, where she investigated and litigated claims arising from bank failures, reviewed mortgage loan files, analyzed claims for loan putbacks, and ascertained potential liability of bankers as well as third party vendors and service providers. Calkins is an experienced financial services litigator, covering the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Truth in Lending Act, Truth in Savings Act, Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices and Dodd Frank Act issues.

About Akerman LLP
Akerman LLP is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M&A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 600 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 20 offices, it is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States by The American Lawyer (2015). Akerman also is ranked among the top 50 law firms for diversity in The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard (2015).

Akerman's Consumer Financial Services Practice Group is among the largest national legal teams supporting consumer financial service providers with litigation, enforcement and regulatory compliance in all 50 states. The Akerman team includes more than 100 lawyers and other legal professionals, with a platform for national litigation management and for ensuring compliance with servicing standards, federal and state laws, court rules and local practices.

More information can be found at akerman.com or twitter.com/akerman_law.