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Inside The Beltway: A Lobbyist's Perspective On The Consumers First Act And Other Legislative Initiatives Impacting Consumer Financial Services

Under the new Democratic Majority in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Maxine Waters chairs the Financial Services Committee. Over the past several months, she has moved swiftly to hold Congressional hearings and pass legislation to address issues she identified as priorities for Democrats in the 116th Congress, including consumer protection legislation, H.R. 1500, the Consumers First Act. On March 28, all 34 Democrats on the committee voted in support of H.R. 1500 and all 26 Republicans voted no. The bill is intended to reverse various actions taken by Mick Mulvaney during his tenure as Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). While it is possible the bill will come to the House floor for a vote this year, it is unlikely to be brought up for a vote in the Senate, and will, therefore, remain purely a messaging piece for Democrats to rally behind.

Just over 100 days into the new Congress, we can expect to see additional consumer protection legislation and oversight of the CFPB under Chairwoman Waters' leadership. 

Copyright © by Ballard Spahr LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 108


About this Author

Richard J. Andreano, Jr. , Ballard Spahr Law Frim, Washington DC,  Business and Finance attorney, Mortgage Banking, Consumer Financial Services, Fair Lending

Richard J. Andreano, Jr., is the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Mortgage Banking Group. He has devoted 30 years of practice to financial services, mortgage banking, and consumer finance law.

Mr. Andreano advises banks, lenders, brokers, home builders, title companies, real estate professionals, and other settlement providers on regulatory compliance and transactional matters, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issues, and administrative examinations, enforcement actions and investigations. He also works with litigation counsel on devising strategies for defense of class action...

John Socknat, Partner

John D. Socknat is the Co-Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Mortgage Banking Group. John uses his knowledge and breadth of the business issues affecting the residential and commercial mortgage banking industries and the legal landscape to advise clients on compliance and licensing matters under state and federal law.

John's clients include mortgage and consumer finance companies, financial institutions, servicers, collection agencies, title companies, real estate brokers, and secondary-market investors. He focuses his practice in matters concerning regulations such as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), financial privacy in Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), state consumer credit and debt collection, and telemarketing-related issues, among others. He also counsels clients on e-commerce issues, including electronic signatures, electronic storage of records, and electronic delivery of credit-related disclosures. In addition, John has represented clients in asset and stock transactions and joint venture arrangements.

His areas of expertise lie in: 

  • Mortgage banking. 
  • Business. 
  • Finance. 
  • Consumer financial services. 
  • CFPB
  • Privacy, data, marketplace security.