Tom Hefferon, partner and co-chair of Goodwin’s Financial Industry Practice, focuses his practice on civil litigation and government enforcement matters, with particular emphasis on the banking and consumer financial services industries. Mr. Hefferon frequently provides compliance advice and litigation risk analysis to industry clients.
Mr. Hefferon has a national practice concentrating on defending prominent financial institutions facing class action lawsuits pending in a large variety of state and federal courts. These cases typically arise under state and federal laws, including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), state and federal unfair and deceptive acts and practices laws (UDAP), other consumer lending statutes and regulations, bankruptcy laws and the common law.
The matters at issue in these cases include fair lending; the legality under RESPA of a variety of business practices; federal preemption; arbitration; assignee liability; loan servicing; foreclosure, bankruptcy and default issues; and claims that challenge various lending practices under a wide variety of federal and state statutes, including UDAP laws. He has an active practice before numerous state and federal courts. In the last several years, Mr. Hefferon and others in the group have defended more than 200 putative class actions, most of which were brought as nationwide class actions, and have been lead counsel in four multidistrict litigation proceedings. He also is acting and has previously acted as lead counsel to mortgage industry trade associations appearing as amicus curiae in cases that present significant issues for the consumer credit industry, and as counsel to trade associations in connection with regulatory comment letters.
In the 2011 Term, Mr. Hefferon argued in the United States Supreme Court, for the Respondent in Freeman v. Quicken Loans, Inc. The case involved an important consumer credit question under RESPA, which the Court decided unanimously in his client’s favor. Mr. Hefferon also has presented oral argument in most federal circuit courts and in a number of state supreme and lower appellate courts.
Mr. Hefferon also represents financial institutions and trade groups in a variety of contested matters in court and before federal and state administrative agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, numerous state attorneys general, and state banking agencies. He is actively representing consumer finance companies in CFPB examinations and enforcement proceedings.
In addition to his specialty area, Mr. Hefferon has represented a range of corporate and individual clients, and has substantial experience in complex commercial disputes, including contract litigation, insurance disputes, lender liability cases and litigation arising in connection with bankruptcies filed under Chapters 7, 11 or 13. He has been sole or joint lead counsel in the trial of cases in federal and state courts in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Missouri, Texas and Illinois.