Commercial Finance

Commercial Finance

Johnston & Associates has a full service mortgage banking and commercial lending practice. The firm’s attorneys have represented clients ranging from Wall Street investment banks to individual investors in both in-house and outside counsel capacities. On the transactional side, the firm has extensive experience in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk assessment, regulatory action and enforcement representation, loan repurchase management, and contract negotiation, drafting and review. The firm also maintains an active, national litigation practice, having represented clients in matters throughout the United States.

Areas of expertise:

  • RESPA, TILA, HVCC, SAFE Act, ECOA, Gramm Leach-Bliley, and FACTA matters
  • Preparation and response to regulatory examinations and audits by HUD, GNMA, FNMA, state regulatory entities, and secondary market investors
  • Representation and response to investor loan repurchase demands
  • FHA, GNMA, and FNMA application and approval process
  • Title, escrow and appraisal disputes
  • SBA lending programs

We provide our clients expert advice in the following areas:

1. Regulatory Compliance Guidance

  • Monitor and advise clients on regulatory compliance developments at the federal and state level including, but not limited to, RESPA, TILA, HVCC, SAFE Act, ECOA, Gramm Leach-Bliley, FACTA, etc.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of internal compliance and quality control policy and internal controls necessary to meet minimum compliance standards.
  • Assist in the development of unique business solutions to complex regulatory compliance issues.

2. Operational Risk Assessment

  • Quantify the effectiveness of existing quality control and regulatory compliance controls.
  • Identify areas of deficiency/risk within existing origination platform and provide recommendations to improve overall quality control and regulatory compliance policy and procedure.

3. Examination and Regulatory Action Representation

  • Coordinate and assist in preparation for, and/or response to, regulatory examinations and audits conducted by federal agencies and state regulators.
  • Represent clients who are subject to regulatory or administrative action resulting from recently completed audits, examinations and evaluations undertaken by HUD, GNMA, FNMA, state regulation and secondary market investors.

4. Loan Repurchase Management

  • Analyses of individual and large scale loan repurchase demands from secondary market investors and wholesale lenders.
  • Development of strategic loan repurchase defense.
  • Responding to repurchase demands on clients behalf.

5. Licensing and Agency Approval Consultation

  • Management of state specific mortgage lender, broker, branch and originator licensing requirements (SAFE Act).
  • Management of client’s FHA, GNMA and FNMA application process from inception through completion.

6. Litigation

  • Repurchase defense litigation.
  • Lender defense of consumer claims alleging violations of RESPA, TILA, ECOA, FCRA, FDCPA and related state predatory lending laws.

7. Training and Education

  • Comprehensive on-site training for originators, quality control and operational personnel involving material regulatory compliance requirements at the state and federal level.
  • Continuing Education: On-site overview of client’s material internal policies, regulatory compliance developments and recent enforcement trends.

8. Contract Negotiation, Drafting and Review

  • Drafting and negotiation of various contractual agreements common to mortgage lending; including but not limited to employment and marketing agreements. Contract negotiations with third party originators, lenders, secondary market investors and warehouse lines of credit.