Photo of Chris Willis

Chris is the co-leader of the Consumer Financial Services Regulatory practice at the firm. He advises financial services institutions facing state and federal government investigations and examinations, counseling them on compliance issues including UDAP/UDAAP, credit reporting, debt collection, and fair lending, and defending them in individual and class action lawsuits brought by consumers and enforcement actions brought by government agencies.

Chris also leverages insights from his litigation and enforcement experience to help clients design new products and processes, including machine learning marketing, fraud prevention and underwriting models, product structure, advertising, online application flows, underwriting, and collection and loss mitigation strategies.

Chris brings a highly practical focus to his legal advice, informed by balancing a deep understanding of the business of consumer finance and the practical priorities of federal and state regulatory agencies.

Chris speaks frequently at conferences across the country on consumer financial services law and has been featured in numerous articles in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington PostAmerican BankerNational Law JournalBNA Bloomberg, and Bank Safety and Soundness Advisor.

On June 28, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) launched a focused campaign to highlight what it describes as unlawful regulatory overreach by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) and, specifically, new CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “At every turn,” writes Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Counsel Daryl Joseffer, the CFPB is pushing

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) unveiled its UDAAP exam manual at the end of March 2022, announcing that it had decided to interpret the word “unfair” in Dodd-Frank to prohibit discrimination, even where specific statutes like the Equal Credit Opportunity Act do not apply, we expressed skepticism about the viability of

Please join Troutman Pepper Partners Kim Phan and James Kim as they discuss the firm’s expanded capabilities in the fintech world, recent compliance issues for fintech companies, the CFPB’s dormant authority to supervise certain nonbank entities and its potential impact on fintech companies, as well as the CFPB’s trend to name individuals in enforcement actions.

Kim Phan, a partner in the firm’s Privacy + Cybersecurity Practice Group, counsels fintech companies in federal and state privacy and data security statutes and regulations throughout product development, marketing, and implementation. Kim ranks high in Chambers and The Legal 500 for her privacy and data security work with fintech companies. As a partner in the Consumer Financial Services Practice Group, James Kim leverages his experience as a former CFPB senior enforcement attorney to provide the industry knowledge and expertise that fintechs and financial institutions require when launching new products or facing regulatory scrutiny. Chambers ranks James highly for his work in fintech and consumer finance enforcement and investigations.

Continue Reading Troutman Pepper’s Fintech Capabilities and Trending Issues Impacting Fintech Companies

On June 29, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued an advisory opinion focused on consumer debt collectors and the convenience fees they charge for some payments, such as online or by phone.

Convenience fees — common in many types of financial transactions — have recently been categorized as “junk fees” by the

On June 21, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit and a settlement framework with Meta Platforms, Inc. (previously known as Facebook) to resolve allegations that Meta’s advertising placement algorithms discriminate against Facebook users based on their race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin (Protected Characteristics) in violation of the Fair

Please join Troutman Pepper Partner Chris Willis and his guest and fellow Partner Stefanie Jackman as they discuss recent trends in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation, including how the landscape has changed since the Facebook decision, the increase in challenges to text and automated messaging, state law analogs and mini TCPA laws, and best

In a keynote address at the Consumer Federation of America’s 2022 Consumer Assembly, CFPB Deputy Director Zixta Martinez squarely took aim at “rent-a-bank schemes” in some of the first (if not the first) such comments by a senior CFPB official. Historically, the CFPB has confined itself to “true lender” litigation against participants in high-rate

In a June 17 blog post, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) Director Rohit Chopra announced that the CFPB intends to “move away from highly complicated rules” in favor of “simpler and clearer rules.” As part of this effort, the CFPB will be “dramatically increasing the amount of guidance it is providing to

In a blog post released June 15, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) continued to show its interest in credit reporting by Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) lenders. Recognizing the importance of credit reporting to consumers building credit profiles through payment of BNPL obligations, the CFPB encouraged BNPL lenders to report both positive and negative

Please join Troutman Pepper Partner Chris Willis and guests Troutman Pepper Associates Chris Carlson and Susan Nikdel as they discuss the multistate coalition of state attorneys general calling on many of the nation’s largest banks to eliminate overdraft fees. The conversation focuses on what was done, which state attorneys general participated, the current controversy surrounding overdraft fees, and several key takeaways for the industry going forward.

As a member of the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, Chris Carlson represents clients in regulatory, civil, and criminal investigations and litigation. As a member of the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group, Susan Nikdel represents clients in financial services litigation, as well as clients facing regulatory examinations and investigations brought by the CFPB, state attorneys general, and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

Continue Reading State Attorneys General Call on Financial Giants to Eliminate Overdraft Fees