Melissa Klimkiewicz is dedicated to providing pragmatic, comprehensive, and timely guidance to her consumer financial services industry clients, which primarily include mortgage lenders and servicers.
As Senior Counsel in Buckley LLP’s Washington, D.C., office, Ms. Klimkiewicz frequently assists Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgagees with their program approval efforts, annual recertifications, compliance with and understanding of program rules and self-reporting obligations, audits by the Quality Assurance Division (QAD), inquiries from the Office of Inspector General (OIG), and enforcement actions by the Mortgagee Review Board. She performs similar work related to the Ginnie Mae, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 184, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA Department), and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service loan programs. Her work also includes assisting clients with False Claims Act (FCA)-based risk assessments arising from participation in government lending programs. Ms. Klimkiewicz represents both forward mortgage and reverse mortgage / Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) lenders and servicers.
In addition, Ms. Klimkiewicz’s practice has a special focus on the mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements under the Flood Disaster Protection Act, which includes regularly advising lenders and servicers on the ins and outs of the federal banking agencies’, FHA’s, and the government sponsored enterprises’ (GSE) flood insurance-related regulations and guidance. Ms. Klimkiewicz also assists clients with satisfying Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulators’ expectations for providing assistance to consumers impacted by presidentially declared disasters.
Ms. Klimkiewicz also frequently counsels clients in matters arising under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Mortgages Acts and Practices Rule (MAP), the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE) and related state licensing laws, state regulation of real estate brokers and property managers, and the range of other federal and state consumer financial laws impacting lending and servicing. Recent noteworthy matters include:
- Assisting numerous clients with FHA compliance reviews, self-reporting, filing of Notices of Material Events, filing of Annual Certifications, and responding to audits and enforcement actions, including through meetings with appropriate agency personnel where appropriate
- Advising issuers on compliance with Ginnie Mae requirement and responding to Ginnie Mae inquiries
- Developing policies and procedures, and responding to targeted questions, to foster compliance with the mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements within lenders’ and servicers’ lines of business
- Analyzing state mortgage lending and real estate licensing requirements for providers operating in numerous states, and assisting with obtaining required licenses and change of control approvals
- Drafting and negotiating advertising services and other agreements with the intent of reducing the counterparties’ RESPA Section 8 risks
- Reviewing mortgage application and closing disclosures for compliance with federal and state requirements and industry best practices, and recommending revisions as needed
- Developing a protocol for efficient review of standard and nonstandard mortgage security instruments and notes to determine whether certain default servicing fees could be assessed to a borrower
Ms. Klimkiewicz has been recognized by The Legal 500 in the Financial services: Litigation practice area. She is a former Co-Chair (2014-2017) and Co-Vice Chair (2011-2014) of the Housing Finance Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee. She also is an active member of the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.
Prior to joining Buckley, Ms. Klimkiewicz was an Associate at Howrey LLP, and was a law clerk at Buckley Kolar LLP while attending law school. She received her J.D. from the George Washington University and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
WASHINGTON, DC (April 7, 2020) – Buckley LLP announced that Heidi M. Bauer, Kari K. Hall, H. Joshua Kotin, Susanna K. Sedrak, and Moorari K. Shah have been promoted from counsel to partner. "These five individuals consistently display outstanding legal skills and excellent judgment, and have earned...Press Releases
The Legal 500 once again ranked Buckley as a top law firm and recognized it in five categories:
- Corporate Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense: Corporate – Tier 4
- Corporate Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense: Individuals – Tier 2 ...
Melissa Klimkiewicz quoted in a National Mortgage News article, “Banks claim victory in new private flood insurance rule”
Melissa Klimkiewicz was quoted on February 11, 2019 in a National Mortgage News article, “Banks claim victory in new private flood insurance rule,” which discussed bank regulators’ release of their final rule implementing the Biggert-Waters Act on Januaruy 25 and the regulations accompanying this...In The News
Melissa Klimkiewicz’s article, "Tossing life preservers into floodwaters: Next steps for the mortgage and flood insurance markets," featured in MBA Newslink
With the 2018 hurricane season kicking into gear--and with residual effects of 2017's devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico still evident--flood insurance is very much on the minds of mortgage lenders and servicers. And with the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire (...In The News
Melissa Klimkiewicz quoted in Reverse Mortgage Daily article, “Managing the new online reverse mortgage advertising landscape”
Melissa Klimkiewicz was quoted on March 28, 2018 in a Reverse Mortgage Daily article, “Managing the new online reverse mortgage advertising landscape,” which discussed the need for reverse mortgage businesses to advertise online, as well as the compliance issues that these companies need to observe...In The News
"Will private flood insurance keep mortgages from going underwater?" by Melissa Klimkiewicz and Sara Ruvic (HousingWire)
Spoiler: We aren’t certain whether private flood insurance will help homes retain their value, but we do know that the new flood insurance rules are presenting surprising challenges for lenders. For years, homeowners in high flood-risk areas have relied on subsidized flood insurance that the...Articles
"FHA enforcement: What decreased reliance on the False Claims Act means for FHA lenders and servicers" by Melissa Klimkiewicz, Michelle L. Rogers, and Katherine Brockway Katz (HousingWire)
Top offcials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are looking to chart a new course to win back banks that have fled the Federal Housing Administration lending program following a series of multimilliondollar False Claims Act settlements. In the past, HUD has partnered with the U...Articles
"Even with a safe harbor, private flood insurance rules may prove vexing" by Melissa Klimkiewicz (National Mortgage News)
Seven years after Congress mandated that the federal banking agencies issue rules to facilitate growth of the private flood insurance market, the rules are here, and mortgage lenders and servicers should take notice. Starting on July 1, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller...Articles
"7 tips for surviving FHA’s annual recertification process" by Melissa Klimkiewicz, Michelle L. Rogers, Kathryn L. Ryan, and Kathryn R. Goodman (HousingWire)
The past year brought some good news for Federal Housing Administration mortgagees, as top Department of Housing and Urban Development officials continued to urge the Department of Justice to reduce reliance on the False Claims Act in enforcing FHA program requirements. Notwithstanding this...Articles
"Tossing life preservers into floodwaters: Next steps for the mortgage and flood insurance markets" co-authored by Melissa Klimkiewicz (Aon Risk Solutions)
As hurricane seasons go, 2017’s stands as the most expensive in U.S. history. Yet the winds that hit the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico were not unprecedented. Indeed, given the long break since the Katrina, Rita, and Wilma landfalls of 2004-2005, there was some sense that hurricanes Irma and Maria...Articles
We get it: The simple mention of climate change invokes a visceral reaction from believers and skeptics alike. Rest assured; we are not trying to achieve consensus regarding the planet’s future through this article. We do, however, want lenders and servicers to take a fresh look at some...C-Suite Review
Melissa Klimkiewicz authored a Law360 Article, "Managing Flood Risk When '1,000-Year' Floods Seem Common"
Hurricane Harvey is the most significant in a recent series of catastrophic coastal and riverine floods impacting communities across the United States. This “1,000-year flood” follows two consecutive years of “500-year” floods in Houston, and Houston is not alone. Just ask Missourians about the “1,...Articles
Melissa Klimkiewicz, Kathryn L. Ryan, and Kathryn R. Goodman Authored a National Mortgage News Article, "State Regulators Have Their Eye on Reverse Mortgage Lenders"
The U.S. population is aging, and one of the well-established components of the American dream — buying and owning a home — appears poised to aid in the baby boomers' next phase of life. In fact, an increasing number of older Americans are expected to tap into their home equity to fund their living...Articles
Mortgage Compliance Magazine - NFIP Reauthorization and Reform: Are More Changes Coming to Lenders' Flood Insurance Requirements
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP or the Program) will expire on September 17, 2017, unless it is timely reauthorized. Because the Program is $23 billion in debt, there is significant speculation regarding whether and how Congress may restructure the Program this year. Changes to the NFIP...Articles
On August 4, the CFPB issued its long-awaited final amendments to the mortgage servicing provisions of Regulations X and Z. The Bureau had sought comment on the proposed rule in December 2014, more than 18 months ago. Spanning 900 pages, the final rule makes significant changes that will impact...Articles
On Friday, the CFPB issued its much anticipated proposal to amend the KBYO/TRID rule. The CFPB crowded dozens of proposed changes into the almost 300 page proposal, most of which are highly technical and require careful examination. As the Bureau has signaled since its intention to issue amendments...Articles
With sighs of relief, the vast majority of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance program participants completed the fiscal year 2015 annual recertification process. The process requires attesting to 10 broad and somewhat ambiguous statements regarding the mortgagee’s compliance...Articles
Director Cordray announced yesterday in a letter to industry trade groups that the CFPB has "begun drafting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Know Before You Owe Rule.” However, contrary to some reports, the proposal is not imminent. Instead, Director Cordray stated that the Bureau “...Articles
ESCROW PROVISIONS The Final Flood Rule also imposes new requirements related to the escrow of flood insurance premiums and fees. Previously, flood insurance premiums and fees were required to be escrowed if (1) any taxes, insurance premiums, fees, or other charges were required to be escrowed; and...Articles
On December 29, 2015, CFPB Director Richard Cordray issued a letter in response to concerns raised by the Mortgage Bankers Association regarding violations of the CFPB’s new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (“TRID”) rule, also known as the Know Before You Owe rule. In an effort to address concerns...Articles
The past few years have brought about a steady stream—if not quite a flood—of changes to the federal mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements (mandatory purchase requirements). Most recently, on July 21, 2015, the federal banking agencies (Agencies) published a joint final regulation (...Articles
Awards & Recognitions
- Legal 500 2019: Recognized in Financial services: Litigation
- J.D., George Washington University, 2004 (with honors)
- B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2000 (magna cum laude)
- District of Columbia
- Montana (voluntarily inactive)
- New York