and relentless execution.
Unprecedented events in the global marketplace have dramatically impacted the legal landscape for consumers, businesses, and financial institutions.
Bernhard Law Firm's financial and consumer claims practice focuses on representing consumers and businesses in lawsuits against companies and banks.
We investigate and sue upon consumer claims, from fraud and violation of consumer protection laws to breach of contract and warranty. We file suits upon banks, mortgage lenders and brokers, credit card companies, debt collectors, payday lenders, consumer finance companies, auto dealers, vendors, and other corporate institutions in a variety of disputes in state and federal courts and in arbitration and mediation. We also negotiate purchase and sale transactions, commercial lending, workouts and modifications, and financial services-related matters.
We litigate consumer finance claims.
Consumer finance generally encompasses the institutional or private financing of any consumer for purchasing and leasing purposes, including alternative financial services such as subprime lending and marginal credit lending.
The consumer finance industry has come under the spotlight in the wake of the recent banking and finance crisis, where subprime lending, balloon rates, the LIBOR scandal, and adjustable rate lending contracts caused a national financial calamity with rippling effects through the global financial system. The investigation that followed the financial crisis unveiled numerous controversial lending practices of the major financial institutions, including misrepresentation of borrower credit in order to execute a loan contract at a subprime or balloon rate; imposition of extraneous fees on refinancing, ATM withdrawals, and curtailment payments; refinance arrangements at misrepresentative balloon rates; sale or imposition of premium credit insurance or force-placed hazard insurance; and mail exchange of live checks. The financial services industry now faces unprecedented scrutiny in a pro-consumer atmosphere.
Bernhard Law Firm investigates, files, litigates, and appeals suits against banks, mortgage lenders, auto finance companies, payday lenders, and other consumer finance companies. We litigate trials and appeals in consumer finance disputes involving the Truth in Lending Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, contested foreclosures, predatory lending, consumer fraud, force-placed insurance, usury violations, loan origination, loan servicing, and unfair deceptive trade practices claims. We have handled the gamut of financial services products, including retail installment financing contracts, mortgage lending contracts, credit card products, and personal property financing. If you or an acquaintance has suffered questionable lending or servicing practices on any level, contact the Bernhard Law Firm for an immediate consultation.
Bernhard Law Firm advises clients in the broad range of federal and state laws that govern real estate transactions, including lending and disclosure statutes as well as all relevant federal and state laws and regulations.
We have defended and prosecuted claims of unfair and irresponsible lending, unfair competition and deceptive practices, mortgage fraud, false statements and claims in mortgage lending, breach of contract, repurchase, deed-in-lieu, cash for keys, breach of fiduciary duties, and other mortgage lending matters.
We manage litigation under the gamut of mortgage lending regulations.
Bernhard Law Firm coordinates and develops strategies through the labyrinth of federal and state legislation. We handle cases and disputes under the Florida Fair Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act (FCCPA), the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the National Banking Act, (NBA), the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), Dodd-Frank, Regulation X, Regulation Z, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), and other regulatory enforcement schemes. We also facilitate modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), and the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA).
If you or an acquaintance faces any dispute in relation to mortgage lending and foreclosure, contact the Bernhard Law Firm.
Both federal and Florida law provide a wide spectrum of regulatory protections for consumers facing credit disputes, debt defaults, and debt collections.
Bernhard Law Firm files and defends lawsuits among financial institutions, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, debt collection companies, and individuals in state and federal lawsuits. We have managed claims for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and other state and federal consumer protection statutes. We also advise on and litigate matters of identity theft, inaccurate credit reporting, unreasonable dispute investigation, reporting of accounts, harassment, unlawful threats and debt collection practices, collection notice review, and abusive collection practices.
Industry-wide mismanagement of bank accounts has become a norm. Bank operations and policies are constructed and enforced for the primary purpose of maximizing bank income, no matter the effect on individual banking customers and account holders, or the laws in place against such practices.
Bernhard Law Firm litigates these and other matters involving bank accounts, check fraud, electronic funds transfers, bank receiverships, FDIC litigation, and frauds by and against banks. We also advise and litigate on bank branch premises liability and ATM litigation.
Bernhard Law Firm has litigated suits across the gamut of consumer protection laws and regulations, and has litigated under the enumerated consumer laws, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Home Owners Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Truth in Savings Act, the Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act, the Consumer Leasing Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and the Interstate Lending Sales Full Disclosure Act. Bernhard Law Firm continuously monitors the activities of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Should there be a breach of this regulatory scheme, Bernhard Law Firm is ready and experienced in the litigations of these banking violations and breaches, general banking negligence and mismanagement.
Disputes are a reality in the consumer lending industry, and have become a cost of doing business that banks and private lenders attempt to deal with effectively at value to maximize profit.
Yet, each claim, whether by a person or business, reflects a hardship and loss suffered at the hands of the banking industry. Bernhard Law Firm treats each claim as such—an individualized and important matter that requires immediate attention and correction.
Bernhard Law Firm represents clients in multiple jurisdictions throughout Florida in all types of consumer finance disputes. We advise and represent individuals and businesses on investigations, foreclosure and collection cases, and appellate matters in the financial services industry. We have handled lawsuits involving challenges to interest rates, fees, and other contract terms; compliance with federal and state financial services laws; claims of credit discrimination; marketing and advertising practices; insurance issues; and claims for fraud and improper practices.
- As counsel to a major national financial institution, litigated FDIC preemption for lawsuits stemming from one of the largest recorded FDIC bank seizures in U.S. history.
- Defended the initial wave of lawsuits stemming from the force-placed insurance phenomenon, achieving a significant court position that force-placed insurance was neither a breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, nor unjust enrichment.
- Facilitated negotiation of a multi-million dollar settlement for a large Florida community bank in a shareholder action overseen by the FDIC.
- Successfully defended multi-bank community lawsuit regarding a million dollar property gutting and violation of community covenants, achieving case dismissal and negotiation for sale at double the property's appraised value.
- Defended South Beach hotel group's lawsuit to recuperate multi-million dollar renovation at the expense of the residential members, forcing purchase of property by hotel group at client's profit.
Consultation in the changing sea of consumer law and banking regulation.
Banks and corporations face a broad and evolving set of laws and regulations, particularly in light of the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Bernhard Law Firm collaborates closely with a network of corporate and banking lawyers, including in-house bank counsels, businesspeople, and bankers who have domestic and international experience advising the laws affecting financial institutions, investors, companies, and individuals on financing, corporate, transactional, regulatory, and workout matters. We provide experienced advice and strategic planning from investigation through litigation.