Consistent with state data breach notification laws, the Neiman Marcus Group, LLC publicly announced in January 2014 that its customers’ payment card information had potentially been compromised at 77 Neiman Marcus retail locations between March 2013 and January 2014. In total, 370,000 credit cards were compromised as a result of the intrusion, and at least 9,200 credit cards are known to have been used fraudulently.

Almost five years later, state attorneys general from 43 states and the District of Columbia entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with Neiman Marcus, closing the Multistate’s investigation after Neiman Marcus agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty. Additionally, this Multistate settlement ensures that the business will take the following actions:

  1. Ensure that storage, process, and transmission of credit card data comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard;
  2. Maintain an appropriate system to collect and monitor network activity to report suspicious activity, including activity logs that are regularly reviewed and monitored in near real-time;
  3. Maintain agreements with at least two qualified Payment Card Industry forensic investigators;
  4. Update software associated with protecting cardholder data and create a written plan for updating and replacing this software;
  5. Implement steps to review and ensure that its practices are consistent with industry-accepted payment card technologies, such as use of chip and PIN technology;
  6. “Devalue payment card information” through encryption and tokenization and other methods “to obfuscate payment card information throughout the course of retail transaction” at Neiman Marcus retail locations; and
  7. Engage a third-party assessor who will report on the safeguards utilized by Neiman Marcus to meet its information security program goals and provide this report to the signatory state attorneys general.

Attorneys general for Illinois and Connecticut led the investigation. Additionally, a class action settlement related to this data breach has already been filed, and affected claimants were able to receive a payment of up to $100. The claim period for this class action ended in 2018.

This is already the third Multistate settlement this year. Specifically, state attorneys general have entered into Multistate settlements with for-profit education company Career Education Corporation to resolve claims of unfair and deceptive practices and with Fiat-Chrysler and Bosch related to their installation of defeat device software to conceal actual emissions levels in diesel motor vehicles.

On January 3, 49 state attorneys general announced a settlement with Career Education Corporation (“CEC”), a for-profit education company, to resolve claims that CEC engaged in unfair and deceptive practices.  The settlement requires CEC to forgo any collection efforts against $493.7 million in outstanding loan debt held by nearly 180,000 former students.  It also imposes a $5 million fine on the company.  California was the only state not participating.

CEC operates online courses through American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University.  CEC’s other brands include Briarcliffe College, Brooks Institute, Brown College, Harrington College of Design, International Academy of Design & Technology, Le Cordon Bleu, Missouri College, and Sanford-Brown.  According to the attorneys general, CEC used “emotionally-charged language” emphasizing the pain in prospective students’ lives to encourage them to enroll in CEC’s schools, deceived students regarding the total costs of enrollment, misled students about the transferability of their earned credits, misrepresented job prospects for graduates, and deceived prospective students about post-graduation employment rates.  The attorneys general contended that students who enrolled in CEC classes incurred substantial debts that they could not repay or discharge, when they otherwise would not have done so absent the misrepresentations.  CEC denied the allegations, but entered into the settlement agreement to resolve the AGs’ claims.

The settlement agreement requires CEC to make improved disclosures to students, including anticipated total direct costs, median debt for completion of CEC’s programs, program default rates, program completion rates, transferability of credits, median earnings for graduates, and job placement rates.  CEC must also improve students’ ability to cancel their enrollment, allowing students no fewer than seven days to cancel and receive a full refund, and up to 21 days for students with fewer than 24 credits from online programs.  In addition, the AGs are requiring CEC to inform all qualifying former students that they no longer owe money to CEC.

The investigation was led by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.  “CEC’s unscrupulous recruitment and enrollment practices caused considerable harm to Maryland students,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.  “The company misled students.  It claimed that students would get better jobs and earn more money, but its substandard programs failed to deliver on those promises.  The school encouraged these students to obtain millions of dollars in loans, placing them at great financial risk.  Now CEC will have to change its practices and forgo collection on those loans.”

A copy of the settlement agreement is available here

A multistate coalition of attorneys general led by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine is opposing three resolutions before Congress (S.J. Res. 19, H.J. Res. 62, and H.J. Res. 73) that would block a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau final rule intended to give users of prepaid cards some of the same protections given to users of traditional banking and credit products (the “Final Rule”).  The Final Rule is currently scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2018.  On April 5, 2017, the coalition sent a letter to congressional leadership, urging opposition to resolutions that would block implementation of the rule.

The letter states that prepaid cards are a rapidly growing market and often used by consumers who have limited or no access to a traditional bank account.  It is becoming more common for consumers to receive wages or financial aid funds for student loans on prepaid cards.  In fact, since 2015, more consumers have been receiving their wages by prepaid cards than by conventional paper checks.  Consumers frequently report concerns to the CFPB about hidden or abusive fees associated with the prepaid cards and fraudulent transactions that deplete funds loaded onto them.  Although prepaid cards are generally designed to avoid overdraft fees, some of the payday lenders who provide funds through these cards have been subjecting consumers to poorly disclosed or undisclosed overdraft fees.

The CFPB’s Final Rule provides certain protections that are afforded to consumers for traditional financial products.  Among the provisions intended to protect consumers, the Final Rule seeks to:

  • Protect prepaid card users against fraud and unauthorized charges;
  • Help consumers avoid hidden fees and encourage them to comparison shop with a simple chart of common fees;
  • Provide convenient, free access to account transactions and account balances;
  • Require employers to inform employees they do not have to receive wages on a prepaid card; and
  • Require prepaid cards to comply with existing credit card laws (including an ability-to-pay analysis, limits on overdraft fees in the first year, and safeguards on how funds are repaid).

The resolutions to stop implementation of the CFPB’s Final Rule have been filed under the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”), meaning that if the rule is blocked by a CRA vote, the CFPB is forever barred from enacting a substantially similar rule unless Congress authorizes it.  Congress has recently revived the CRA as a way to block consumer protections put in place during the Obama administration.

In addition to the District of Columbia, the states signing on to the letter include California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

Attorneys general from twenty-two states today announced that Classmates, Inc. which runs the website classmates.com, and Florists Transworld Delivery, Inc. and FTD.com, Inc. (collectively, “FTD”) have agreed to settle allegations that the companies were involved in misleading, unfair, and deceptive trade practices. Although FTD and Classmates did not admit to wrongdoing, they agreed to pay $11 million under the settlement.

The attorneys general alleged that FTD and Classmates, which were affiliated until 2013, entered into relationships with third-party marketers, such as travel rewards programs and discount clubs. The third-party marketers then used negative opt-out marketing schemes through which consumers would be enrolled in these programs and billed for associated charges unless they affirmatively opted out. Additionally, the attorneys general alleged that FTD and Classmates shared consumer data, including credit card information, so that the consumers could be billed for the charges. Such data-sharing is impermissible under the Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act of 2010.

Participants in the settlement include the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

As discussed here, on December 7, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) made a preliminary conclusion that a New York commercial financing law was not preempted by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Bureau indicated it was also considering whether to make a preemption determination regarding similar state laws in California, Utah, and Virginia. On January 20, 2023, California Attorney General Rob Bonta submitted a letter to the CFPB agreeing with its preliminary determination that California’s Commercial Financing Disclosures Law (CFDL) is not preempted by TILA because the CFDL only applies to commercial financing and not to consumer credit transactions within the scope of TILA. Attorney General Bonta further urged the CFPB to “revisit the Federal Reserve Board’s (Board) vague and overbroad articulation of the TILA preemption standard. The CFPB should articulate a narrower standard that emphasizes that preemption should be limited to situations where it is impossible to comply with both TILA and the state law or where the state law stands as an obstacle to the full purposes TILA, which is to provide consumers with full and meaningful disclosure of credit terms in consumer credit transactions.”

As background, the CFDL applies to commercial financing, where the funds are “intended by the recipient for use primarily for other than personal, family, or household purposes.” The stated purpose of the CFDL is to assist small businesses in making informed decisions about the potential costs of various commercial financing options. The industries subject to the regulation include, among others, traditional installment loans and open-end credit, factoring, and merchant cash advances. Under the CFDL, providers are required to disclose metrics such the amount of funding the small business will receive, the APR calculated for the transaction, a payment amount (if applicable), the term, details related to prepayment policies, and (for products without a monthly payment) an average monthly cost. TILA authorizes the CFPB to determine whether a state law requirement is preempted, upon its own motion or upon the request of a creditor, state, or other interested party. The CFPB conducted a preliminary review of the CFDL and made a preliminary conclusion it was not preempted because the CFDL does not apply to consumer credit transactions that are within the scope of TILA.

In his letter, Attorney General Bonta agreed that the CFDL is not preempted because it applies to commercial not consumer credit transactions and that “there is no material difference between the disclosures required by TILA and those required by the CFDL, even if TILA applied to commercial financing.” Attorney General Bonta further urged the CFPB to “articulate a narrower preemption standard, as the Board’s prior articulation of the standard is both overly broad and vague, supporting preemption whenever a state law ‘impedes the operation of the federal law or interferes with the purposes of the federal statute.'” Instead, the Attorney General argued for finding “preemption under TILA only if it is ‘impossible’ to comply with both TILA and the state law or if the state law ‘stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes’ of TILA.” Further, he argued, the CFPB should reemphasize two principles previously articulated by the Board: 1) state laws that require additional disclosures than TILA are not inconsistent with TILA; and 2) a state law should be preempted only where there is actual conflict, not potential or hypothetical conflict. “These limits on federal preemption will allow both TILA and related state disclosure laws to continue to provide protections to consumers, small business owners, and other borrowers, while maintaining a competitive and well-informed marketplace for consumer and commercial credit.”

Notably, the Small Business Finance Association filed a complaint against the Commissioner of the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, in part, on the grounds that the CFDL is preempted by TILA. We will continue monitoring developments in this case and in the CFPB’s TILA preemption determinations and will post updates as they become available.


Troutman Pepper Consumer Financial Services Team

Stefanie Jackman
Stefanie takes a holistic approach to working with clients both through compliance counseling and assessment relating to consumer products and services, as well as serving as a zealous advocate in government inquiries, investigations, and consumer litigation.
Chris Carlson
Chris represents clients in regulatory, civil and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.
Caleb Rosenberg
Caleb is an associate in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. He focuses his practice on helping federal and state-chartered banks, fintech companies, finance companies, and licensed lenders navigate regulatory risks posed by state and federal laws aimed at protecting consumers and small businesses in the credit and alternative finance products industry.

Troutman Pepper State Attorneys General Team

Ashley Taylor – Co-leader and Firm Vice Chair
Ashley is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. He focuses primarily on federal and state government regulatory and enforcement matters involving state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Drawing upon his experience as a deputy attorney general, Ashley has developed an extensive consumer practice with regard to the consumer financial services industry.
Clay Friedman – Co-leader
Clay is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. Informed by nearly a decade in a state attorneys general office, and more than 25 years in private practice, Clay spends much of his time representing clients in singular or multistate regulatory actions. Clay has repeatedly led teams before all 50 state attorneys general and also handles matters with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other local, state and federal agencies.
Stephen Piepgrass
Stephen represents clients interacting with, and being investigated by, state attorneys general and other enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, particularly in heavily regulated industries.
Michael Yaghi
Michael handles high-profile state attorneys general, FTC, and CFPB investigations by advising clients through these complex government inquiries. He assists clients through the entire life cycle of investigations, from regulatory enforcement through formal litigation.
Ketan Bhirud
As a former government official at the state and federal level, Ketan leverages extensive experience in the public and private sectors to skillfully represent client interests.
Avi Schick
A former deputy attorney general of New York, Avi applies his experience in bet-the-company matters, representing clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement actions before state and federal regulators, prosecutors and enforcement agencies.
Natalia Jacobo
Natalia is an associate in the firm’s business litigation practice. She recently received her J.D from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Namrata Kang
Namrata is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, based in the Washington, D.C. office. Her work includes advising clients in regulatory investigations and compliance matters, in addition to representing clients in civil litigation matters.
Susan Nikdel
Susan is an associate in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group, and focuses her practice on consumer financial services matters. She has defended several of the nation’s largest and most influential financial institutions in individual and class action litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and other consumer privacy statutes. Susan also represents banks, fintechs, and financial services companies in connection with regulatory examinations and investigations brought by the CFPB, state attorneys general, and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.
Whitney Shephard
Whitney is an attorney in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. She represents clients facing state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as related civil litigation.
Trey Smith
Trey is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement practice. His experience includes serving as a summer associate at the firm in 2021.
Daniel Waltz
An experienced litigator, Daniel advises and represents regional, national and international companies, financial institutions and insurers in all facets of business, complex commercial and insurance coverage litigation. He is committed to working with his clients to find creative solutions to meet their needs.
Stephanie Kozol
Stephanie is Troutman Pepper’s senior government relations manager in the state attorneys general department.

To help you keep abreast of relevant activities, below find a breakdown of some of the biggest events at the federal and state levels to impact the Consumer Finance Services industry this past week:

Federal Activities

State Activities

Federal Activities:

  • On January 19, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new circular, affirming that companies offering “negative option” subscription services must comply with federal consumer financial protection law. Negative option programs include subscription services that automatically renew unless the consumer affirmatively cancels, as well as trial marketing programs that charge a reduced fee for an initial period and then automatically begin charging a higher fee. Companies risk violating the law if they do not clearly and conspicuously disclose the terms of their subscription services and obtain consumers’ informed consent or if they make it unreasonably difficult for consumers to cancel. For more information, click here.
  • On January 19, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a consent order, memorializing crypto-lending firm Nexo Capital, Inc.’s (Nexo) assent to pay a $45 million fine to remedy its offering of an interest-bearing cryptocurrency deposit product called the “Nexo Earn Interest Product” (EIP), which the SEC alleged constituted the offering and selling of unregistered securities in violation of federal securities law. Critically, under the consent order, Nexo must “cease the EIP to all U.S. investors by April 1, 2023 and [must] exit the U.S. entirely shortly thereafter.” For more information, click here.
  • On January 18, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an order, identifying Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato Limited (Bitzlato) as a “primary money laundering concern” due to Bitzlato’s alleged connection to illicit Russian finance and ransomware activities. FinCEN’s order prohibits all “covered financial institutions” from transmitting any funds involving Bitzlato. Notably, FinCEN alleged that public reporting demonstrated that Bitzlato did not effectively implement policies and procedures designed to combat money laundering and illicit finance. For more information, click here.
  • On January 18, the CFPB released the updated “Mortgage Servicing Examination Procedures,” providing transparency to stakeholders about how we do our work. The examination procedures describe the types of information that CFPB examiners gather to evaluate mortgage servicers’ policies and procedures; assess whether servicers are complying with applicable laws; and identify risks to consumers related to mortgage servicing. The updated examination procedures include CFPB guidance released since the last update in June 2016. For more information, click here.
  • On January 18, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Anatoly Legkodymov, the founder of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato, with conducting a money transmitting business that transmitted illicit funds and with failing to develop and implement an effective KYC/AML program in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. According to the DOJ, Bitzlato had been responsible for processing approximately $4.58 billion worth of cryptocurrency transactions since 2018. For more information, click here.
  • On January 17, during an interview with Bloomberg, CFTC Commissioner Caroline Phan noted that she believes “crypto financial instruments should be held to the same standard as other financial instruments,” and she is hopeful that the CFTC and other federal regulatory agencies will provide more crypto-related guidance throughout 2023. For more information, click here.
  • On January 17, FinCEN published two notices and requests for comment in the Federal Register related to the reporting process the agency intends to use to collect data. Specifically, FinCEn is issuing a final rule, requiring certain entities to file with FinCEN reports that identify two categories of individuals: the beneficial owners of the entity and individuals who have filed an application with specified governmental authorities to create the entity or register it to do business. These regulations implement Section 6403 of the Corporate Transparency Act, enacted into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, and describe who must file a report, what information must be provided, and when a report is due. Comments are due by March 20. For more information, click here.
  • On January 17, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu delivered remarks at the Brookings Institute about the limits of large bank manageability. He stated that “[e]nterprises can become so big and complex that control failures, risk management breakdowns, and negative surprises occur too frequently — not because of weak management, but because of the sheer size and complexity of the organization.” He spoke about his belief that the “most effective and efficient way to successfully fix [these] issues … is to simply if — by divesting businesses, curtailing operations, and reducing complexity.” For more information, click here.
  • On January 17, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released a “toolkit” for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). The “toolkit” is comprised of a set of resources that the WEF hopes will help developers, policymakers, and stakeholders in the crypto industry “realize the full potential” of evaluating, engaging, or developing DAOs. The WEF’s toolkit is segmented into five sections:
    • What are DAOs?;
    • DAO operations;
    • DAO governance;
    • Legal structures; and
    • Recommendations.

    For more information about the WEF’s DAO toolkit, click here. For more information about DAOs, click here.

State Activities:

  • On January 20, California Attorney General Rob Bonta submitted a comment letter, applauding the CFPB for its preliminary determination that the state’s Commercial Financing Disclosure Law (CFDL) is not preempted by the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA). CFDL was enacted in 2018 as a tool for small businesses seeking to navigate the complex commercial financing market. The CFDL requires uniform disclosures of certain credit terms in a manner similar to those mandated by TILA’s provisions, but for commercial transactions not regulated by TILA. Before the CFDL’s adoption, there were no federal or state law disclosure requirements for commercial financing. For more information, click here.
  • On January 19, New York Attorney General Letitia James and a multistate coalition obtained up to $24 million from cryptocurrency companies Nexo, Inc. and Nexo Capital, Inc. (Nexo) for “engaging in the unregistered offer and sale of securities and commodities” and for allegedly “lying to investors about their registration status.” The agreement represents the culmination of a civil lawsuit brought by the AG in September 2022 and administrative actions by securities regulators in nine other states. Nexo is now banned from the New York securities industry for five years and must notify its investors to withdraw their assets from the platform. For more information, click here.
  • On January 19, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu released the final report and recommendations compiled by the governor’s Commission on Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets, which was established on February 9, 2022. Principally, the commission’s final report touched on three points:
    • Blockchain technology (digital databases secured by cryptographic software protocols distributed across connected computers) will be an important technical innovation with many potentially important applications in our human societies and economies;
    • The legal and regulatory status of blockchain technologies and applications, such as cryptocurrencies and digital assets, is highly uncertain, and this legal and regulatory uncertainty is materially undermining innovation and economic development of new technologies, activities, and industry, as well as protections for investors and consumers; and
    • The New Hampshire government (governor, legislature, executive branch agencies, and courts of our judicial branch) should devote resources to establishing a state legal regime that will offer an attractive jurisdiction for the best responsible blockchain innovators, entrepreneurs, and businesses, while protecting investors and consumers using their applications.

    For more information, click here.

  • On January 18, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced that it adopted an updated check cashing regulation initially proposed in June 2022. The regulation implements a new method for calculating fees that accounts for the needs of licensees and consumers who utilize check cashing services. In 2005, New York became the only state to grant automatic increases to the maximum percentage check cashing fee, anchoring the increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, this method did not account how inflation disproportionately impacts underserved New Yorkers who rely on check cashing services to access their funds. The regulation eliminates automatic increases based on CPI, creating instead a two-tier system of fees for check cashers. For more information, click here.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich released opinion No. 22-(R22-011), concluding earned wage access (EWA) products that are fully non-recourse and no-interest are not “consumer lender loans” under Arizona law. Thus, those who make, procure, or advertise EWA products are not required to be licensed as a “consumer lender” by Arizona’s Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions. The AG’s findings apply to EWA providers working with an employer as well as those working directly with an employee.

According to the AG, an EWA product is fully non-recourse if the provider does not:

  • Obtain a legal, contractual right to repayment against the employee,
  • Engage in any debt collection activities on any unpaid balance,
  • Sell or assign an unpaid balance to a third party, and
  • Report non-payment to any consumer credit reporting agency.

The AG also concludes that a no-interest EWA product is one that does not impose a finance charge under Arizona law, although certain fees are permitted. The AG suggests such fees could include a voluntary gratuity, a fee for expedited transfer of an EWA payment, or the earning of interchange revenue from money spent using a payment card.

A consumer lender license is required to engage in lending in Arizona. A consumer lender is any person or entity advertising to make “consumer lender loans” to consumers, which are broadly defined under Arizona law as lending money to consumers in various contexts.

The AG states that EWA products are not a “loan of money” because an EWA product that is non-recourse is “neither for the employee’s temporary use, nor is there a condition that the funds shall be returned.” Rather, EWA products provide employees with funds that they have already earned and need not be returned to the provider. Additionally, the AG believes an EWA product does not impose finance charges since a non-recourse EWA product requires only repayment of a principal balance, which is not an amount payable incident to or as a condition of a consumer lender loan. The AG noted that some EWA products may charge a fee; however, as long as any fees are included in the exceptions in the finance charge definition, a provider would not be considered to have imposed a finance charge.

The AG references several other decisions informing his analysis. A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) advisory opinion, published on December 10, 2020, concluded that certain EWA products provided through an employer without charging the consumer a fee did not constitute “credit” under the Truth in Lending Act. The CFPB’s advisory opinion, however, was issued under the agency’s prior director, Kathy Kraninger. The CFPB, under its current director, initially cast doubt on the advisory opinion’s validity in a January 18, 2022 letter to consumer advocates, and later rescinded the advisory opinion on June 30, 2022. These recent actions regarding EWA products indicate the CFPB may reach a different conclusion than the Arizona AG, especially since concluding that EWA products are not extensions of credit would place them outside of the CFPB’s jurisdiction.

The AG also relies on the CFPB’s 2017 Payday Lending Rule as well as a California Commissioner of Financial Protection and Innovations’ 2022 opinion that concluded that when an EWA provider works directly with an employer to allow employee access to an EWA product, the EWA product is not a “loan” under California Financial Code § 22009.

In a May 2022 blog post, we discussed the U.S. Department of Treasury’s proposed amendments to the Internal Revenue Code clarifying that EWA products, offering on-demand pay, are not loans.

Troutman Pepper will continue monitoring developments affecting EWA programs and reporting on any relevant updates.


Troutman Pepper Consumer Financial Services Team

James Kim
As a former senior enforcement attorney with the CFPB, James provides the industry knowledge and expertise that fintechs and financial institutions require when launching new products or facing regulatory scrutiny.
Caleb Rosenberg
Caleb is an associate in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. He focuses his practice on helping federal and state-chartered banks, fintech companies, finance companies, and licensed lenders navigate regulatory risks posed by state and federal laws aimed at protecting consumers and small businesses in the credit and alternative finance products industry.
Jill Dolan
Jill focuses her practice on consumer financial services law, particularly on federal and state law compliance matters. She advises financial institutions, lenders, and sales finance companies in the development and maintenance of closed-end and open-end lending and other programs.
Susan Nikdel
Susan is an associate in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group, and focuses her practice on consumer financial services matters. She has defended several of the nation’s largest and most influential financial institutions in individual and class action litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and other consumer privacy statutes. Susan also represents banks, fintechs, and financial services companies in connection with regulatory examinations and investigations brought by the CFPB, state attorneys general, and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

Troutman Pepper State Attorneys General Team

Ashley Taylor – Co-leader and Firm Vice Chair
Ashley is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. He focuses primarily on federal and state government regulatory and enforcement matters involving state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Drawing upon his experience as a deputy attorney general, Ashley has developed an extensive consumer practice with regard to the consumer financial services industry.
Clay Friedman – Co-leader
Clay is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. Informed by nearly a decade in a state attorneys general office, and more than 25 years in private practice, Clay spends much of his time representing clients in singular or multistate regulatory actions. Clay has repeatedly led teams before all 50 state attorneys general and also handles matters with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other local, state and federal agencies.
Stephen Piepgrass
Stephen represents clients interacting with, and being investigated by, state attorneys general and other enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, particularly in heavily regulated industries.
Michael Yaghi
Michael handles high-profile state attorneys general, FTC, and CFPB investigations by advising clients through these complex government inquiries. He assists clients through the entire life cycle of investigations, from regulatory enforcement through formal litigation.
Ketan Bhirud
As a former government official at the state and federal level, Ketan leverages extensive experience in the public and private sectors to skillfully represent client interests.
Avi Schick
A former deputy attorney general of New York, Avi applies his experience in bet-the-company matters, representing clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement actions before state and federal regulators, prosecutors and enforcement agencies.
Chris Carlson
Chris represents clients in regulatory, civil and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.
Natalia Jacobo
Natalia is an associate in the firm’s business litigation practice. She recently received her J.D from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Namrata Kang
Namrata is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, based in the Washington, D.C. office. Her work includes advising clients in regulatory investigations and compliance matters, in addition to representing clients in civil litigation matters.
Whitney Shephard
Whitney is an attorney in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. She represents clients facing state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as related civil litigation.
Trey Smith
Trey is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement practice. His experience includes serving as a summer associate at the firm in 2021.
Daniel Waltz
An experienced litigator, Daniel advises and represents regional, national and international companies, financial institutions and insurers in all facets of business, complex commercial and insurance coverage litigation. He is committed to working with his clients to find creative solutions to meet their needs.
Stephanie Kozol
Stephanie is Troutman Pepper’s senior government relations manager in the state attorneys general department.

On January 4, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced that his office had reached settlements with Bellco and Canvas credit unions which will provide $4 million in refunds of unearned guaranteed automobile protection (GAP) premiums to consumers that the credit unions failed to provide previously. In June 2022, we posted here about the five prior settlements reached by the state AG over GAP refunds. Based on the AG’s comments in the press release, we expect continued scrutiny in this area. “When hardworking Coloradans pay for GAP coverage, they deserve to receive what they are owed … My office will continue to hold accountable companies that violate the law and leave Coloradans without the money they were due.”

As background, GAP is a debt cancellation product frequently sold by auto dealers to customers who finance their automobile purchases through the dealer, a type of financing arrangement known as indirect auto lending. In the event a car is totaled in an accident, the car buyer’s primary automobile insurance typically pays only fair market value, which may be less than the amount owed on the loan due to a vehicle’s depreciation. GAP is designed to cover a portion of this remaining balance or “gap” owed to the lender on the finance agreement. Because GAP is tied to the term of the customer’s finance agreement, the purchaser is often entitled to a refund of the “unused” portion of GAP if the finance agreement ends early, for example, if the buyer pays off the car loan early or if the car is repossessed. The indirect auto lender’s refund obligations vary based upon the state in which the transaction originated. A minority of states, including Colorado, place certain obligations on indirect auto lenders to ensure that a customer receives a refund of a portion of the GAP cost when his or her loan ends early, whether or not the customer affirmatively requests the refund.

Both credit unions agreed to provide pro rata refunds which totaled $4 million. If these refunds are unable to be refunded to consumers within 150 days, then the remaining unclaimed amounts revert as a payment to the state.

Both credit unions also agreed to pay $100,000, in lieu of reimbursing Colorado’s cost in investigating the matters, and agreed to permit the state to inspect the companies’ books and records related to GAP refunds for a period of one year.

As part of the Assurances of Discontinuance for Bellco and Canvas, the credit unions stipulated that going forward GAP refunds will be made on all consumer loans prepaid prior to maturity (both credit unions were already providing refunds on loans where the vehicles had been repossessed). They both also stipulated to having conducted an audit identifying those consumers potentially owed refunds during the applicable period, which they will provide to Colorado’s UCCC administrator.

Additional state attorneys general, including Massachusetts and Vermont, have scrutinized the refunding of unearned GAP premiums.

We will continue to watch the state attorneys general activity with regard to refunds of unearned GAP premiums and will post updates here as they occur.


Troutman Pepper Consumer Financial Services Team

Jeremy Rosenblum
Jeremy focuses his practice on federal and state lending and consumer practices laws, with emphasis on the interplay between federal and state laws, joint ventures between banks and nonbank financial services providers, the development and documentation of new financial services products (especially products designed to serve the needs of unbanked and under-banked consumers), bank overdraft practices and disclosures, geographic expansion initiatives, and compliance with federal and state consumer protection laws, including statutes prohibiting unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices (UDAAP); usury laws; the Truth in Lending Act (TILA); the Electronic Funds Transfer Act; E-SIGN; the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Mark Furletti
Mark helps clients navigate regulatory risks posed by state and federal laws aimed at protecting consumers and small business, particularly in connection with credit, deposit, and payments products. He is a trusted advisor, providing practical legal counsel and advice to providers of financial services across numerous industries.
Caleb Rosenberg
Caleb is an associate in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. He focuses his practice on helping federal and state-chartered banks, fintech companies, finance companies, and licensed lenders navigate regulatory risks posed by state and federal laws aimed at protecting consumers and small businesses in the credit and alternative finance products industry.
Chris Capurso
Chris focuses his practice on consumer financial services compliance, guiding clients through the many federal and state laws and regulations that impact consumer credit programs.

Troutman Pepper State Attorneys General Team

Ashley Taylor – Co-leader and Firm Vice Chair
Ashley is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. He focuses primarily on federal and state government regulatory and enforcement matters involving state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Drawing upon his experience as a deputy attorney general, Ashley has developed an extensive consumer practice with regard to the consumer financial services industry.
Clay Friedman – Co-leader
Clay is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. Informed by nearly a decade in a state attorneys general office, and more than 25 years in private practice, Clay spends much of his time representing clients in singular or multistate regulatory actions. Clay has repeatedly led teams before all 50 state attorneys general and also handles matters with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other local, state and federal agencies.
Stephen Piepgrass
Stephen represents clients interacting with, and being investigated by, state attorneys general and other enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, particularly in heavily regulated industries.
Michael Yaghi
Michael handles high-profile state attorneys general, FTC, and CFPB investigations by advising clients through these complex government inquiries. He assists clients through the entire life cycle of investigations, from regulatory enforcement through formal litigation.
Ketan Bhirud
As a former government official at the state and federal level, Ketan leverages extensive experience in the public and private sectors to skillfully represent client interests.
Avi Schick
A former deputy attorney general of New York, Avi applies his experience in bet-the-company matters, representing clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement actions before state and federal regulators, prosecutors and enforcement agencies.
Chris Carlson
Chris represents clients in regulatory, civil and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.
Natalia Jacobo
Natalia is an associate in the firm’s business litigation practice. She recently received her J.D from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Namrata Kang
Namrata is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, based in the Washington, D.C. office. Her work includes advising clients in regulatory investigations and compliance matters, in addition to representing clients in civil litigation matters.
Whitney Shephard
Whitney is an attorney in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. She represents clients facing state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as related civil litigation.
Stephanie Kozol
Stephanie is Troutman Pepper’s senior government relations manager in the state attorneys general department.

On December 27, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (the Division) entered a consent order with Yellowstone Capital LLC (Yellowstone) and several related companies to resolve allegations that, in violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the company engaged in abusive lending practices in connection with Merchant Cash Advances to small business owners (MCAs). Pursuant to the settlement, Yellowstone must forgive all outstanding balances for customers who entered MCAs, which is estimated to be approximately $21.7 million, and pay more than $5.6 million to the Division for purposes that may include, restitution, attorneys’ fees, costs of investigation and litigation and costs of administering restitution, and penalties up to $250,000. The order also imposes additional requirements regarding Yellowstone’s agreements and collections activity discussed below.

As background, MCAs are a form of financing in which the MCA company provides money to a small business up front in exchange for the right to receive a percentage of the company’s future revenue up to a specified aggregate dollar amount. Frequently, MCAs require the merchant to deliver the future revenues through daily payments reflecting actual revenues or an estimate of such revenues, subject to some form of periodic reconciliation process. Unlike a loan, a properly structured MCA contract does not guarantee the issuer regular payments over a fixed, finite term. Instead, a decline in the merchant’s revenues should entitle the merchant to an automatic reduction in payments or a reconciliation which either decreases the merchant’s periodic payments, resulting in the MCA payments continuing over a longer period, or requires the MCA company to provide a refund to the merchant of any excess payments received. The concept is that, at least in most states, properly structured MCA agreements are sales of future receivables, and not loans, and, accordingly, lending and usury laws do not apply to MCA agreements.

As part of the settlement, Yellowstone was required to reform its reconciliation procedures, providing more favorable reconciliation terms to merchants, including allowing merchants more time to request a reconciliation and requiring that reconciliations cover the entire transaction, rather than only the preceding month. Yellowstone was also required to implement new procedures to: (1) inform merchants who are not in default that they may request the more favorable reconciliations; (2) review accounts when merchants default prior to sending the accounts to collection; (3) provide certain notices related to default; (4) not engage in certain collections activities including the use of confessions of judgment and specified uses of UCC notices; and (5) implement certain procedures related to the use of brokers. Yellowstone was also required to reform certain contractual provisions to limit the scope of personal guarantees, decrease or eliminate certain fees, improve disclosures, and remove limited liability clauses, among other changes.

In the complaint, the Division alleged:

  • Although Yellowstone’s merchant agreements were presented to consumers as MCA contracts, the merchant agreements included numerous terms and conditions that made them substantially less favorable to consumers than typical MCA contracts.
  • Yellowstone’s merchant agreements obligated consumers to pay a fixed amount subject to interest, over a defined period, untethered from the consumers’ receivables, just as the consumers would be obligated to repay a traditional loan, but without the legal protections (such as interest rate caps) afforded to loan borrowers.
  • Yellowstone’s MCAs compelled consumers to execute additional documents that not only obligated the small business owners to personally guarantee repayment of the loans, but also made it exceedingly simple for Yellowstone to obtain a consent judgment against and/or to freeze and seize the assets of not only the small business, but the small business owner.

Yellowstone denied all allegations in the consent order. However, this is not the first settlement Yellowstone has entered into regarding allegations of unfair lending. On May 4, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Yellowstone would pay more than $9.8 million in restitution to settle allegations that it took money from businesses’ bank accounts without permission and deceived them about the amount of financing they would receive, net of inadequately disclosed fees, and other features of its financing products. Specifically, the FTC alleged that Yellowstone continued withdrawing money from businesses’ bank accounts for days after their balance had been satisfied.

This action by the New Jersey Attorney General constitutes a continuation of the office’s policy goal of addressing alleged usurious lending, particularly when such practices are asserted to disproportionately affect New Jersey’s lower-income and minority communities. For example, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities issued a Cease and Desist Order to another MCA company, Complete Business Solutions Group, for violating New Jersey securities law by offering and selling unregistered securities to purportedly raise capital to fund MCAs to small businesses.

Additional state attorneys general have scrutinized the use of MCA companies issuing short-term, high-cost funding for small businesses. Dating back to 2018, the New York Attorney General opened an industrywide investigation into MCA companies, which resulted in a report that a subpoena was sent to Yellowstone and the 2020 lawsuit against New York-based Richmond Capital Group.

We will continue to watch the states attorneys general activity with regard to MCAs and alleged usurious lending, and we will post updates here as they occur.


Troutman Pepper Consumer Financial Services Team

Jeremy Rosenblum
Jeremy focuses his practice on federal and state lending and consumer practices laws, with emphasis on the interplay between federal and state laws, joint ventures between banks and nonbank financial services providers, the development and documentation of new financial services products (especially products designed to serve the needs of unbanked and under-banked consumers), bank overdraft practices and disclosures, geographic expansion initiatives, and compliance with federal and state consumer protection laws, including statutes prohibiting unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices (UDAAP); usury laws; the Truth in Lending Act (TILA); the Electronic Funds Transfer Act; E-SIGN; the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Mark Furletti
Mark helps clients navigate regulatory risks posed by state and federal laws aimed at protecting consumers and small business, particularly in connection with credit, deposit, and payments products. He is a trusted advisor, providing practical legal counsel and advice to providers of financial services across numerous industries.
Caleb Rosenberg
Caleb is an associate in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. He focuses his practice on helping federal and state-chartered banks, fintech companies, finance companies, and licensed lenders navigate regulatory risks posed by state and federal laws aimed at protecting consumers and small businesses in the credit and alternative finance products industry.
Chris Carlson
Chris represents clients in regulatory, civil, and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.

Troutman Pepper State Attorneys General Team

Ashley Taylor – Co-leader and Firm Vice Chair
Ashley is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. He focuses primarily on federal and state government regulatory and enforcement matters involving state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Drawing upon his experience as a deputy attorney general, Ashley has developed an extensive consumer practice with regard to the consumer financial services industry.
Clay Friedman – Co-leader
Clay is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. Informed by nearly a decade in a state attorneys general office, and more than 25 years in private practice, Clay spends much of his time representing clients in singular or multistate regulatory actions. Clay has repeatedly led teams before all 50 state attorneys general and also handles matters with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other local, state and federal agencies.
Stephen Piepgrass
Stephen represents clients interacting with, and being investigated by, state attorneys general and other enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, particularly in heavily regulated industries.
Michael Yaghi
Michael handles high-profile state attorneys general, FTC, and CFPB investigations by advising clients through these complex government inquiries. He assists clients through the entire life cycle of investigations, from regulatory enforcement through formal litigation.
Ketan Bhirud
As a former government official at the state and federal level, Ketan leverages extensive experience in the public and private sectors to skillfully represent client interests.
Avi Schick
A former deputy attorney general of New York, Avi applies his experience in bet-the-company matters, representing clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement actions before state and federal regulators, prosecutors and enforcement agencies.
Chris Carlson
Chris represents clients in regulatory, civil and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.
Natalia Jacobo
Natalia is an associate in the firm’s business litigation practice. She recently received her J.D from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Namrata Kang
Namrata is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, based in the Washington, D.C. office. Her work includes advising clients in regulatory investigations and compliance matters, in addition to representing clients in civil litigation matters.
Whitney Shephard
Whitney is an attorney in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. She represents clients facing state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as related civil litigation.
Stephanie Kozol
Stephanie is Troutman Pepper’s senior government relations manager in the state attorneys general department.

As discussed here, on October 19, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Community Financial Services Association of America Ltd. (CFSA) v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) held that the CFPB’s funding mechanism violates the appropriations clause because the CFPB does not receive its funding from annual congressional appropriations like most executive agencies, but instead, receives funding directly from the Federal Reserve based on a request by the CFPB’s director. In response, on November 15, as discussed here, the CFPB filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting not only that the Court hear the case, but also that it be decided on an expedited basis during the Court’s current term. On December 15, two groups of state attorneys general, with diametrically opposed positions, filed separate amicus briefs, urging the Court to grant the CFPB’s petition and intervene to stave off the “confusion and regulatory chaos” caused by the appellate court’s decision.

Democratic AGs Brief

In their brief, 22 Democratic state attorneys general argue the Fifth Circuit erred in finding the CFPB’s funding mechanism unconstitutional but primarily focus on the sweeping remedy imposed by the Fifth Circuit. “For over a decade, the CFPB has served as a valued enforcement and regulatory partner to the [s]tates, which have historically served at the forefront of efforts to protect consumers against fraudulent and abusive practices. Amici States therefore have a compelling interest in preserving the CFPB’s authority, and its past regulatory actions, no matter how this Court resolves the parties’ dispute over the CFPB’s funding mechanism.”

They argue that the remedy ordered by the appellate court would cause irreparable harm to the states’ efforts to combat consumer fraud and abuse. Whereas, according to the Democratic attorneys general, the payday lending respondents do not claim the CFPB’s specific funding source has directly harmed them. “The mismatch between the harms identified by the court of appeals and the remedial order highlights the impropriety of the ruling. This case is not one where a court found that an agency had acted in derogation of Congress’s direction or in a manner inconsistent with express funding limitations … . Vacatur of the rule was not needed to respect the separation of powers between Congress and the Executive: the executive agency was acting entirely as Congress commanded. It was the court of appeals that stepped in to create a conflict between the branches that did not otherwise exist.”

The Democratic attorneys general conclude by asking the court to grant certiorari and confirm that an action cannot be voided simply because there was no valid appropriation.

Republican AG Brief

In their brief, 15 Republican state attorneys general attack the CFPB and its past actions, referring to the CFPB as a “failed experiment in administrative governance.” While the Republican attorneys general agree with the CFPB’s position that the country needs a fast answer to a question of this importance, they request that the Supreme Court affirm the Fifth Circuit’s decision.

“The [a]ppropriations [c]lause serves an important purpose: it allows Congress to supervise and control federal administrative agencies. Through Congress, [s]tates participate in that process, too. But when an agency like the CFPB operates outside the ordinary appropriations process, [s]tates have no opportunity to advise and influence. And unfortunately, real-world facts have shown that — freed from fear that its budget could be in danger — the CFPB has been willing to ignore Congress and the [s]tates. It evades effective oversight. Affirming the decision is therefore critical to bringing accountability and transparency to the CFPB’s work.” The Republican attorneys general further agree that the Fifth Circuit’s remedy was appropriate.

Going Forward

On November 22, the Supreme Court granted the unopposed request of CFSA for an extension until January 13, 2023 to file its brief in opposition to the CFPB’s certiorari petition. One of the reasons for the requested extension was to allow CFSA to also file a cross-petition for certiorari that same day, asking the Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit’s dismissal of its other challenges to the payday loan rule. The CFPB indicated it would respond to CFSA’s cross-petition on January 25 to facilitate the Supreme Court’s ability to consider both petitions at the February 17 conference.


Troutman Pepper State Attorneys General Team

Ashley Taylor – Co-leader and Firm Vice Chair
Ashley is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. He focuses primarily on federal and state government regulatory and enforcement matters involving state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Drawing upon his experience as a deputy attorney general, Ashley has developed an extensive consumer practice with regard to the consumer financial services industry.
Clay Friedman – Co-leader
Clay is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. Informed by nearly a decade in a state attorneys general office, and more than 25 years in private practice, Clay spends much of his time representing clients in singular or multistate regulatory actions. Clay has repeatedly led teams before all 50 state attorneys general and also handles matters with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other local, state and federal agencies.
Stephen Piepgrass
Stephen represents clients interacting with, and being investigated by, state attorneys general and other enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, particularly in heavily regulated industries.
Michael Yaghi
Michael handles high-profile state attorneys general, FTC, and CFPB investigations by advising clients through these complex government inquiries. He assists clients through the entire life cycle of investigations, from regulatory enforcement through formal litigation.
Ketan Bhirud
As a former government official at the state and federal level, Ketan leverages extensive experience in the public and private sectors to skillfully represent client interests.
Avi Schick
A former deputy attorney general of New York, Avi applies his experience in bet-the-company matters, representing clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement actions before state and federal regulators, prosecutors and enforcement agencies.
Chris Carlson
Chris represents clients in regulatory, civil and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.
Natalia Jacobo
Natalia is an associate in the firm’s business litigation practice. She recently received her J.D from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Namrata Kang
Namrata is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, based in the Washington, D.C. office. Her work includes advising clients in regulatory investigations and compliance matters, in addition to representing clients in civil litigation matters.
Whitney Shephard
Whitney is an attorney in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. She represents clients facing state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as related civil litigation.
Stephanie Kozol
Stephanie is Troutman Pepper’s senior government relations manager in the state attorneys general department.