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Benjamin M. Saul

Benjamin Saul is a shareholder in the firm’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. For two decades, Ben has handled high-stakes regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters for corporate and individual clients in the consumer finance, specialty finance, fintech, and banking sectors. 

Ben has helped clients navigate dozens of contentious supervisory, enforcement, and litigation matters involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and has been a leader in the private bar on CFPB matters since the Bureau’s inception in 2011. He also routinely assists clients in matters involving the FTC, DOJ, HUD, OCC, FRB, FDIC, state financial services authorities, state attorneys general, and state civil rights commissions. Ben’s enforcement matters have concerned fair lending and servicing, unfair deceptive and/or abusive trade practices, other federal and state consumer finance laws, AML/BSA, troubled or failed banks, fiduciary duties, financial institution fraud, supervisory ratings, and other safety and soundness issues.  These matters often have involved parallel proceedings by multiple enforcement agencies and/or private parties.

Ben also advises lenders, servicers, alternative financial service providers, and money service businesses on product and service development, licensing, compliance program enhancement, and the applicability of federal and state consumer credit and other financial services laws. He frequently helps clients understand how financial services law maps onto new technologies and innovative products, having worked on matters involving big data, artificial intelligence, marketplace and online lending, blockchain, digital assets and cryptocurrencies, digital banking, and payment systems.  In addition, Ben provides financial services regulatory support for corporate and capital markets transactions.

Concentrations

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Government investigations
  • Federal and state regulation of consumer credit and other financial services
  • Fair lending, fair servicing, and responsible banking
  • Online and marketplace lending
  • Residential mortgage lending and servicing
  • Student lending and servicing
  • Small business and commercial credit
  • Small dollar lenders
  • Auto finance
  • Credit and prepaid card
  • Alternative finance companies
  • Money transmitter and money service businesses
  • Defense of consumer litigation claims

Capabilities

Experience

  • Representation of numerous financial institutions, other consumer finance companies, and individuals in over 25 CFPB investigations and enforcement matters concerning marketing, disclosure, account fee, lending, collections, consumer bankruptcy, credit reporting, and loan servicing practices across numerous products and services, including mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, manufactured home loans, personal loans, small dollar loans, and payment services.°
  • Representation of several financial institutions and other consumer finance companies in product reviews, mock examinations, and other readiness guidance in advance of CFPB exams.°
  • Representation of several financial institutions and consumer finance companies in responding to supervisory exam and pre-enforcement issues, including responding to Proposed Action Response Request Letters.°
  • Representation of several financial institutions in connection with efforts to comply with CFPB Consent Orders.°
  • Representation of numerous financial institutions and other financial services companies before the federal banking regulators, CFPB, DOJ, and HUD in over 40 fair lending and servicing examinations, investigations, and lawsuits involving allegations of, among other things, redlining, reverse redlining, discouragement, discriminatory marketing, underwriting, pricing, servicing and property maintenance by lenders and servicers.°
  • Representation of multiple non-bank lenders in a nationwide class action lawsuit brought by the NAACP against 18 bank and non-bank lenders in an action alleging “reverse redlining” violations of the Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Civil Rights Act.°
  • Representation of financial institutions, fintech, and other non-bank lenders and services on all aspects of fair lending and servicing compliance, including developing policies and programs, managing oversight of third-party vendors, conducting risk assessments, preparing for exams, and developing periodic statistical testing programs.°
  • Representation of a foreign bank in connection with an AML/BSA investigation by the NYDFS and FRB.°
  • Representation of a large, global bank in the resolution of parallel grand jury and OCC investigations, as well as a nationwide class action and a state-level mass action in a matter involving allegations of mortgage fraud and predatory lending.°
  • Representation of a bank in a joint DOJ and FDIC investigation and enforcement action into that bank’s compliance with the Servicemember Civil Relief Act.°
  • Representation of a bank in connection with the negotiation of a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ involving a one count information alleging failure to file suspicious activity reports in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act.°
  • Representation of a bank in connection with an appeal of its CAMELS rating to the FDIC’s Supervision Appeals Review Committee (SARC).°Representation of a large, national bank in connection with multi-year effort to comply with landmark, post-credit crisis horizontal consent orders issued by the OCC and the FRB concerning default mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices.°
  • Representation of a former bank director in an investigation and litigation brought by the FDIC following the failure of the bank.°
  • Representation of multiple Chapter 7 Trustees of failed bank holding companies, including IndyMac Bancorp in (1) the investigation of the financial affairs and failure of the debtors, (2) the defense of the debtors in government enforcement matters involving the FDIC, DOJ, and SEC, (3) litigation against the FDIC concerning the ownership of certain tax refunds and other assets, and (4) the prosecution of claims against certain insiders and third parties.°
  • Represented a major non-bank mortgage servicer and its parent investment bank in connection with a landmark FTC action concerning certain servicing, debt collection and credit reporting practices.
  • Represented a consumer goods company in connection with an FTC investigation alleging the company improperly claimed its products were “Made in the USA.”
  • Representation of a large merchant cash advance company in connection with an FTC investigation.
  • Representation of numerous fintech companies on product and service development, regulatory compliance, licensing (lending, servicing, loan brokering, and money transmission), compliance program development, and dealings with federal and state regulators.°
  • Representation of a large, global financial institution on enhancing its mobile product offerings, including streamlining required disclosures.°
  • Representation of a national bank in connection with the development of a number of new digital merchant and consumer products.°
  • Representation of numerous venture capital and private equity funds in connection with regulatory due diligence of potential fintech investments.°
  • Representation of a global payments company in connection with the development of new consumer credit products.°
  • Advising the sole bookrunning underwriter concerning an equity offering to finance a retail company’s corporate reorganization to focus on blockchain-based products and services.°
  • Representation of a payment services gateway that converts crypto to fiat at the merchant point of sale in regulatory and licensing matters.°
  • Representation of multiple fintechs in connection with the negotiation of bank partnership agreements.°
  • Representation of various fintechs in connection with informal discussions, inquiries, investigations, and enforcement matters concerning state financial services regulators, the FTC and the CFPB.°

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Saul prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Represented a global bank in California Attorney General investigation concerning alleged mortgage fraud.°
  • Represented major non-bank mortgage servicer in connection with investigation by OH AG.°
  • Representation of two directors of the NYSE exchange into joint investigations by the NY AG and SEC relating to the compensation award to former NYSE chairman and CEO Dick Grasso.°
  • Representation of a foreign bank in connection with an AML/BSA investigation by the NYDFS and FRB.°
  • Representation of a state member bank in connection with a fair lending investigation by NY DFS.°
  • Representation of numerous non-bank consumer finance, payments and fintech clients in connection with supervisory exams, informal inquiries, investigations and enforcement actions brought by nearly every state financial services regulator, including many matters involving the CA DFPI (formerly DBO) and NY DFS.°
  • Representation of an alternative financial service provider in connection with a multi-state investigation into it business practices.°
  • Representation of a money transmitter in connection with multi-state state enforcement actions concerning certain prior unlicensed conduct.

 
°The above representations were handled by Mr. Saul prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, Super Lawyers Magazine, Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers – Banking, Consumer Law and Business Litigation, 2011-Present
  • Recipient, Law360, Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing, 2018 & 2019
  • Fintech Advisor/Mentor, Plug and Play Tech Center, 2017-Present
  • Fellow, American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers
  • Member, Board of Editorial Advisors, Review of Banking and Financial Services
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • Member, Consumer Financial Services Committee
    • Member, Banking Law Committee
      • Former Editor-in-Chief, Banking Law Committee Journal
    • Former Co-Chair, Consumer & Civil Rights Litigation Committee
  • Member, Exchequer Club
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Former Editorial Advisor, Banking, Law360

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., magna cum laude, American University, Washington College of Law

    • Editor, American University Law Review
    • Karl Scholar; Mussey-Gillett Fellow
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania
Clerkships
  • Hon. John M. Steadman, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 2002-2003
Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts