Andrew Hernacki is a trial lawyer focusing on complex class action and multi-party litigation involving antitrust, breach of contract, business tort, and unfair competition claims. Andrew has represented clients in a variety of actions by private plaintiffs, government investigations, and law enforcement actions, including those initiated by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and state attorneys general. He also has extensive experience defending clients across a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from actions involving the Helms-Burton Act, partnership disputes, and general business issues.

GavelOn Monday, July 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued a final rule – the “Arbitration Agreements Rule” – regulating arbitration agreements in contracts for certain core consumer financial products and services. Venable has been monitoring the development of this rule, and our past coverage can be seen in a webinar and a blog post.

In prepared remarks, CFPB Director Richard Cordray explained the Bureau’s reasons for ultimately promulgating this regulation, and he stated that such clauses “force consumers either to give up or to go it alone – usually over relatively small amounts that may not be worth pursuing on one’s own. Including these clauses in contracts allows companies to sidestep the judicial system, avoid big refunds, and continue to pursue profitable practices that may violate the law and harm large numbers of consumers.”Continue Reading CFPB Issues Final “Arbitration Agreements Rule:” New CFPB Rule Bans Class Action Bars in Arbitration Clauses

cash and credit cardsA circuit split regarding the SEC’s administrative law judges, an internal CFPB playbook and memo on their examination process, and a recent field hearing on small business lending are at the forefront of the May 18 edition of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Digest.

In this issue, we highlight the circuit split between the Tenth Circuit

Consumfinancial lawer data, UDAAP, debt collection, and fintech licensing are at the forefront of the March 30 edition of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Digest.

In this issue, we discuss the importance of the Federal Trade Commission’s activities in the consumer finance world and the big changes on the horizon for credit reporting of public records data.Continue Reading Consumer Financial Services Update

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today issued a highly anticipated decision in PHH Corp. v. CFPB (Case No. 15-1177). In a 110-page decision, the D.C. Circuit held that the CFPB’s structure as a single-director independent agency is unconstitutional. The decision on the constitutional issue, however, may have “important but limited real-world implications.” The Court described its ruling, severing the “for-cause” removal provision from the Dodd-Frank Act, as a “targeted remedy” that “will not affect the ongoing operations of the CFPB.”

The Court’s decision comes as part of a closely watched case in which PHH, a nonbank mortgage lender, appealed CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s $109 million order against the firm for allegedly improper payments involving mortgage reinsurance arrangements. Importantly, the Court’s decision made clear that it was not disbanding the CFPB, but instead severing the “for-cause” provision of the CFPA. In other words, the President can now remove the CFPB Director “at will” and can “supervise and direct” the Director, and need not rely on a case of “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office” to remove the Director.Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Addresses CFPB’s Constitutionality, RESPA Interpretation, and Statute of Limitations Issues in PHH Decision