The government’s attempt to ease the devastating economic fallout of the Covid‑19 pandemic created programs with millions of beneficiaries and thousands of intermediaries that play a role in distributing funds. Regulators of every stripe are communicating new expectations, and just as often, issuing guidance, rules, and regulations that change the way companies operate — with the threat of enforcement actions and litigation looming for those that don’t figure it out quickly.
Buckley is uniquely situated to help companies face these challenges head on. Our core strengths sit at the confluence of the most threatening risks companies of every size and in every industry now face from the pandemic and the government’s response. We are structured to respond to urgent needs, and feature a deep bench of industry-leading legal professionals in regulatory compliance, investigations and enforcement, litigation, and white collar defense. We forgo rigid practice group structures in favor of cross-disciplinary teams that provide best-in-class advice through a tailored, responsive approach that delivers the legal experience of a diversified law firm.
Buckley’s financial services regulatory team is well-versed in the legal and operational complexities of loan origination and servicing, and has deep experience advising financial institutions and borrowers on lending programs and changes to mortgage servicing and credit reporting requirements. Our Covid‑19 Regulatory Tracker, available to clients, is a rigorously maintained library of federal and state regulatory developments, and our attorneys provide practical, business-oriented advice on complying with them.
Our nationally recognized enforcement, white collar, and litigation practices complement our regulatory compliance capabilities. Our attorneys work extensively with federal and state regulatory agencies, state attorneys general, and other investigative bodies — including inspectors general, which loom as oversight bodies in current and future administrations. Many of us have significant government experience, including in senior appointed positions; we understand what agencies are looking for and how they operate.
Buckley attorneys have spent decades handling matters before various federal and state enforcement agencies and regulators, and we have been involved in every significant Department of Justice white collar enforcement initiative over the past three decades. We rely upon our collaborative culture to assemble a legal team that is ideally suited to handle the full range of enforcement and litigation proceedings likely to result from the pandemic, including complex civil litigation, consumer class action defense, and individual and corporate defense.
Covid-19 legal resources and capabilities
Learn more about our specific capabilities, services, and areas of focus related to the Covid‑19 pandemic.
On August 11, the Small Business Administration (SBA) updated the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQs to include two new questions clarifying that (i) payment or nonpayment of fees of an agent or other third party will not affect the guarantee of a PPP loan or the SBA’s payment of lender fees;...InfoBytes
Latin America as a region has long had a problem with public corruption, and the coronavirus pandemic has made things worse. As governments shovel public funds to fight the pandemic and its economic fallout, public officials are swindling millions, including in the graft-prone public health sector...Articles
Hank Asbill was extensively quoted on July 10, 2020 in an Agenda article, “New wild cards for white-collar enforcement,” which discussed the state of white collar enforcement amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Asbill noted, “Covid-19 has made it exponentially more difficult to conduct criminal trials. The...In The News
"Resisting temptation in a crisis: Making sure ethics and compliance don’t get diluted under financial strain" co-authored by Daniel R. Alonso (Compliance & Enforcement)
As the pandemic crisis begins its long process of receding, near the top of mind in companies of all sizes is how to thrive, or even survive, with the economy in turmoil. With such pressures, it would be easy for business executives to let compliance issues drop down on their list of priorities...Articles
One of the federal government’s most immediate responses to the coronavirus crisis was a highly visible campaign against profiteering. While the absence of an overarching federal anti-price gouging statute has forced prosecutors to improvise and legislators to contemplate new laws in order to...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
"Accurate FCRA reporting during Covid-19" by Marshall T. Bell, Jonathan D. Jerison, and Jessica L. Pollet (Bloomberg Law)
As financial institutions respond to a flurry of regulatory recommendations and mandates in response to the Covid-19 crisis, those relating to consumer reporting may be among the most difficult to decipher and operationalize. Federal and state authorities have made it clear that they expect...Articles
"TCPA relief for Covid-19 communications could extend to financial institutions" by Ali M. Abugheida and Geoffrey L. Warner (Bloomberg Law)
Financial institutions face unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the need to communicate quickly and efficiently with customers in the face of government-issued stay-at-home orders. But the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, with its steep...Articles
"CARES Act puts inspectors general back in the spotlight" by Daniel R. Alonso and Preston Burton (New York Law Journal)
Federal Inspectors General—the nation’s watchdogs over government agencies and government programs—are back in the news. First, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act , received close attention not only for its $2 trillion infusion of taxpayer dollars into the U.S. economy, but also...Articles
Bank regulators were in the process of reshaping a 43-year-old community lending law when the coronavirus pandemic hit, prompting calls from bankers and community advocates alike to suspend rulemaking and revealing how inflexible the proposal could be amid a crisis. Even absent current economic...Articles
"SEC flexes regulatory and enforcement muscles in pandemic markets" by Thomas A. Sporkin and Timothy J. Coley
The Securities and Exchange Commission is sticking to its three-fold mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair and orderly markets, and encouraging capital formation as it responds to the Covid-19 pandemic by issuing regulatory guidance on crisis-relevant market and capital issues,...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
This podcast from the California Mortgage Bankers Association features an interview with Clinton R. Rockwell on a variety of topics surrounding the mortgage industry, including how Covid-19 is impacting the mortgage industry. Rockwell noted, “A lot of the guidance is solving a specific problem, or...In The News
"Navigating digitized mortgage processes during Covid-19" by Valerie L. Hletko and Edward W. Somers (Law360)
The risks presented by the coronavirus pandemic have forced innovation in executing consumer contracts — and fast. Not least affected is the mortgage industry, which typically relies on in-person interactions for document execution to satisfy legal requirements and investor guidelines. Office...Articles
President Trump on April 24 signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, adding $310 billion in funding to the $350 billion initially appropriated to the program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The Federal Reserve Board, Treasury Department,...Special Alerts
Preston Burton quoted in American Banker article, “Will Congress's coronavirus response watchdog have any teeth?”
Preston Burton was quoted on April 22, 2020 in an American Banker article, “Will Congress's coronavirus response watchdog have any teeth?” which discussed the Congressional Oversight Commission and the areas the panel will lack enforcement authority. Burton noted, “The panel lacks subpoena...In The News
Special Alert: OFAC encourages humanitarian aid, promises consideration for Covid-19 compliance challenges
The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control recently took two actions to address the impact of Covid-19. First, OFAC issued a fact sheet that consolidates existing authorizations and guidance permitting humanitarian, agricultural, and medical aid to six jurisdictions subject...Special Alerts
"Paycheck Protection Program poses AML compliance challenges" by Daniel P. Stipano and Benjamin W. Hutten (Bloomberg Law)
Promised relief started flowing to small businesses recently under the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, but many lenders releasing funds now face a substantial compliance burden: establishing an anti-money-laundering...Articles
Jeffrey P. Naimon quoted in American Banker article, “CFPB rulemaking engine churns on through coronavirus”
Jeffrey P. Naimon was quoted on April 15, 2020 in an American Banker article, “CFPB rulemaking engine churns on through coronavirus,” which discussed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s plan to move forward with rulemaking despite the industry’s shifted focus on the economy during the...In The News
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, signed in March 2020, enacted an unprecedented level of emergency government spending to provide public health relief and stabilize an economy damaged by the pandemic, and included oversight provisions to monitor how the $2 trillion is spent...Articles
Warren W. Traiger quoted in American Banker article, “Regulators 'full steam ahead' on CRA reform despite coronavirus pandemic”
Warren W. Traiger was quoted on April 8, 2020 in an American Banker article, “Regulators 'full steam ahead' on CRA reform despite coronavirus pandemic,” which discussed the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s decision to continue with Community Reinvestment Act reform — and in particular,...In The News
The CARES Act will infuse more than $2 trillion into the U.S. economy — the largest such action in history. But if history is any guide, wherever there is a big pot of money, some people will look to steal it. Some desperate individuals might misrepresent their eligibility for unemployment benefits...Articles
On March 31, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued bulletins updating and clarifying their respective requirements for remote online notarizations as they seek to reduce in-person notarizations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Remote online notarization allows a notary to use electronic tools — typically...Special Alerts
On Tuesday, March 31, the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration released initial details regarding the nearly $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Under the program, private lenders will offer SBA-...Special Alerts
Special Alert: CARES Act places significant burdens on servicers of consumer debt but provides some relief to depositories
President Trump late last week signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that attempts to soften the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumers, including by suspending payments for certain student loan borrowers and enabling mortgage loan borrowers to...Special Alerts
On March 27, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. Although the False Claims Act is not mentioned in this stimulus bill, the implications of the act on FCA enforcement are likely to be significant. Click here to...Articles
On March 25, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a financial relief package (Proposal) and related guidance to assist borrowers in California experiencing financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. According to the news release, the relief efforts are being supported by several...Special Alerts
Daniel R. Alonso was quoted on March 17, 2020 in a Wall Street Journal article, “Coronavirus disrupts U.S. court system,” which discussed decisions across the country to delay trials and limit public access to courthouses, including no new empaneling of grand juries in New York specifically. Alonso...In The News
Daniel P. Stipano quoted in Law360 article, “Libor transition plans could take hit from Covid-19 turmoil”
Daniel P. Stipano was quoted on March 16, 2020 in a Law360 article, “Libor transition plans could take hit from Covid-19 turmoil,” which discussed Covid-19’s impact on the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) deadline as well as the need for banks to create pandemic preparedness plans to keep...In The News