The New Focus on Fair Housing and Fair Lending—What You Need to Know and Should Be Considering

With the country’s continued focus on racial injustice, consumer protection regulators, such as the CFPB and related state regulators, like the recently formed Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division of New York’s Department of Financial Services, are prioritizing initiatives to ensure consumers are provided with fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory access to housing and credit. Given this sharpened focus, compliance with fair lending and fair housing laws and regulations should jump to the top of your compliance program assessment and review plan. Come hear our experts discuss recent trends in fair housing and fair lending enforcement, related compliance program elements and enhancements regulators expect and additional ways to mitigate the risk of running afoul of these important laws and regulations and being on the receiving end of an investigative demand.  

Jay Varon

Partner

Foley & Lardner LLP

Jay N. Varon is a partner and litigation lawyer in the firm's Washington D.C. office. Jay has litigated a broad cross-section of commercial cases around the country, including matters relating to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other federal and state consumer financial services laws, as well as cases involving antitrust, unfair competition, deceptive trade practice, trade secrets, environmental, business tort, securities fraud, and products liability issues.

 Many of Jay’s cases involve the defense of class actions or other high stakes matters as well as proceedings before administrative agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Lewis Zirogiannis

Partner

Foley & Lardner LLP

Lewis is routinely engaged to provide clients with practical and efficient solutions to complex litigation, compliance, investigation and enforcement matters across a wide range of subject matter areas and industries including financial services, technology, energy, transportation and healthcare. In addition to his federal clerkship and top-tier private practice experience, Lewis spent 10 years in executive level in-house counsel positions at two Fortune 50 global companies operating in the financial services, energy and technology sectors.  In these leadership roles, Lewis regularly interfaced with the board of directors and outside regulatory agencies and managed global compliance programs, high-stakes litigation, government and internal investigations and regulatory affairs.

Lewis is based in the firm’s San Francisco office, and routinely works from the firm’s offices in New York and Silicon Valley. He is a member of the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations, Business Litigation and Finance Practices.

 Lewis specializes in complex commercial litigation, white collar defense and regulatory enforcement and counsels clients on matters in the areas of anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, trade sanctions, antitrust, data governance and cybersecurity.  Lewis’ in-house experience makes him particularly skilled at defining the specific needs of his clients at the front-end of each engagement, He works closely with his clients to fully understand business objectives in order to design a legal strategy that is appropriately risk-based and tailored to maximize efficiency and minimize the disruption caused by litigation and regulatory issues.

 Lewis has appeared in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal and state trial and appellate courts and has conducted investigations in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe.  He also holds advanced industry certifications in the areas of anti-corruption compliance, anti-money laundering compliance, fintech compliance and cybersecurity risk management.

John Birmingham Jr. (Moderator)

Partner

Foley & Lardner LLP

John F. Birmingham, Jr. is a non-compete, trade secret and labor and employment lawyer, a former member of Foley’s Management Committee, former chair of the firm’s national Labor & Employment Practice and a partner in the Detroit office. John concentrates on noncompetition, trade secret matters and business torts, class actions, employment-related litigation, appellate law, investigations and labor law. He is a trusted advisor on high-level and day-to-day labor and employment issues and develops problem prevention and resolution strategies. He performs and counsels clients through sensitive investigations and counsels boards and executives on crisis management and disaster mitigation. In addition, he is a member of the Privacy, Security & Information Management and Immigration, Nationality & Consular Law Practices and the Automotive and Manufacturing Industry Teams.

John has successfully represented clients in several class actions, trials and arbitrations. He has argued many appellate cases including those before the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and drafted a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. He has also represented clients on unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board and the United States Court of Appeals. John represents clients at trial, administrative tribunals, arbitration or other ADR format involving a wide variety of cases (EEO, ADA, ERISA, FMLA, common law contract and torts and several other areas).

John also is a fair housing expert, counseling and representing clients in the agency and court proceedings.

He has acted as a neutral case evaluator, arbitrator and mediator.

Jacqueline Hayduk

Foley Associate

Foley & Lardner LLP

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