The theories of liability faced by financial institutions today are limited only by the creativity of counsel.
In historic volume, borrowers and guarantors are filing preventative suits and counterclaims in an effort to delay foreclosure and create leverage for deficiency negotiations. Trustees and competing creditors have become aggressive, and consumer protection laws such as the Truth-in-Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) are evolving. High incentives to assert lender liability claims mean the issues faced today will remain for years to come.
Godfrey & Kahn has an interdisciplinary team of litigation attorneys ready to defend the wide array of claims that have resulted from the fallout across the financial markets. Our litigation team also works closely and with our Banking & Financial Institutions Practice Group to advise clients on federal and state laws applicable to regulated financial services operations. Together, our substantive knowledge provides clients the highest-quality representation in an efficient manner, whether defending litigation or developing risk mitigation strategies.
Godfrey & Kahn is well positioned to represent commercial banks and thrifts, community banks, investment banks, credit card issuers, leasing companies, auto financers, investment companies, investment advisors, fund administrators, loan servicers, loan brokers, mutual fund companies, savings and loan associations, credit unions, brokerage firms, asset management firms, and a variety of other financial services institutions. Some of our representative clients include BMO Financial Group, including BMO Harris Bank N.A. and BMO Harris Financial Advisors; Citigroup Global Markets; Ally Financial, Inc. / GMAC-Rescap; Lehman Brothers; Wells Fargo; LNR Partners; and Cargill Financial Services.
In addition, some of our recent experiences include the following:
- We represent financial services clients in a wide array of putative class action claims, including fraud claims, ERISA claims, shareholder suits, debit card transaction claims, interest calculation claims and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
- We represent financial institutions and hedge funds in connection with investigations and litigation arising from their relationships with customers and counter-parties accused of operating multibillion- dollar Ponzi schemes.
- We regularly defend a wide array of consumer claims under federal, state and common laws, including claims under the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), Home Owners Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Housing Act (FHA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), as well as claims for violation of other state and federal consumer statutes, predatory lending, consumer fraud, false advertising, usury violations, and loan servicing and unfair deceptive trade practices.
- We investigate and represent clients involved in fraud claims, such as check, depositor and mortgage fraud claims, including representation of a financial institution victimized by a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.
- We handle commercial loan disputes, including counseling on forbearance agreements and defending claims of improper loan proceeds disbursement, improper withholding of funds, alleged promises to lend, breach of contract, and fiduciary duty, as well as an array of lien and other equitable claims.
- We handle complex insolvency matters, including corporate reorganizations, secured and unsecured creditor representations, the disposition and ownership of collateral, and the enforcement and interpretation of security agreements.
- We represent creditors pursuing commercial foreclosure and payment on guarantees.
- We represent clients and their employees, officers and directors in administrative and enforcement actions brought by the various regulatory agencies.
- We prepare document retention strategies and procedures specific to the statutory requirements and needs of our banking and other financial services clients.
All things considered, Godfrey & Kahn is a preeminent law firm for a broad range of representation in the financial services area.
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BMO Financial Group, BMO Harris Bank N.A., BMO Harris Financial Advisors and BMO Trust Company
We are frequently lead counsel for BMO Harris in a wide variety of disputes, including securities, regulatory enforcement, lender liability, real estate, Truth in Lending (TILA), RESPA, bank and mortgage fraud, and contracts.
Citigroup Global Markets
We regularly represent Citigroup in swap and derivative-related cases, trade secret and non-compete injunction proceedings, and securities litigation and arbitrations.
Prior to its bankruptcy, we regularly represented Lehman Brothers in trade secret and non-compete injunction proceedings, securities litigation and arbitrations, and real estate workouts.
We have and continue to represent Wells Fargo in defending against a variety of lender liability claims.
We regularly represent large loan servicer in real estate litigation including commercial foreclosure and workouts.
Cargill Financial Services
We defended Cargill in a federal court jury trial, obtaining a defense verdict.