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Buchalter

Melissa Richards

Melissa Richards

Of Counsel

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

Buchalter
California, U.S.A.

Profile

Melissa Richards, CMB is a California licensed attorney with a national practice specializing in federal and multistate compliance, licensing and enterprise risk management for the financial services industry. Her clients are engaged in residential and commercial mortgage, fintech, licensed non-depository and depository institution consumer and commercial lending,  either directly or in supporting vendor roles. Ms. Richards has both outside counsel experience as well as general counsel experience. From 2012-2018, Ms. Richards served as the Chief Legal & Risk Officer of a mid-size independent mortgage company ranked as one of Scotsman Guide’s Top 15 Mortgage Lenders in 2018-2019.

Ms. Richards has served in leadership for the California Mortgage Bankers Association, both as a three-term Director (1999-2008) and as its General Counsel (2002-2008). For the Mortgage Bankers Association, Ms. Richards received her CMB designation in 2009 and served as Co-Chair of the 2017 MBA RESBOG Task Force on CFPB Regulatory Clarity and Enforcement (CFPB 2.0). Ms. Richards is a frequent national speaker on federal and state compliance current events affecting the financial services industry, including implementation and enforcement of California’s Consumer Privacy Act and implementing state AG regulations.

Professional and Community Activities

  • Certified Legal Partner (CLP), ComplianceEase(TM) ComplianceAnalyzer (2020)
  • Certified Mortgage Banker designation, Mortgage Bankers Association (2009)
  • Fellow, American College of Mortgage Attorneys (2012- present)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation (2020)
  • Past President (2018-2020) and Director (2016-2020), Artemis Rowing, a California non-profit corporation located at the City of Oakland’s Jack London Aquatic Center, offering competitive and recreational youth rowing programs for students in Grades 6-12.

Bar Admissions

  • California

Education

  • University of San Francisco
  • University of California, Davis
Areas of Practice

Commercial Finance | Real Estate Finance

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Represented North American land developer and homebuilder, Brookfield Residential Properties, Inc, as regulatory counsel in its joint venture with loanDepot, one of the nation’s largest retail mortgage lenders. This new joint venture is designed to streamline the mortgage experience and plans to serve new home construction communities located in California, Colorado, Delaware, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Articles

Coming in 2021: CFPB Finalizes Changes to “Qualified Mortgage” Definition and Creates a New “Seasoned QM” Loan Category
Buchalter, December 2020

  Changes are coming in 2021 to the eligibility requirements for “Qualified Mortgage” or “QM” loans. The Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule administered by CFPB (“ATR/QM Rule”) requires a creditor to make a reasonable, good faith determination of a consumer’s ability to repay a residential mortgage loan according to its terms...

California Enacts Consumer Debt Collector Licensing Administered by DFPI
Buchalter, December 2020

During the 2019 legislative session, California enacted SB 908 - the Debt Collection Licensing Act, Financial Code Division 25, Sections 100000, et seq., requiring consumer debt collectors who are collecting on their own account or the account of others, including debt buyers, to be licensed beginning January 1, 2022...

CA DFPI One Step Closer to Finalizing CFL Commercial Loan Disclosure Regulations
Buchalter, November 2020

  The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (fka Department of Business Oversight) is one step closer to issuing final regulations that would impose new early disclosure requirements on covered commercial lenders that are CFL licensed or subject to CFL licensing. On September 11, 2020, DFPI issued 4th Round Proposed Commercial Loan Disclosures. The DFPI's rulemaking is required by California Financial Code 22804 after California enacted SB 1235 in 2018...

Additional Articles

  • Revising the New General QM Final Rule and Seasoned QM Final Rule: CFPB Expected to Postpone the Mandatory Compliance Date for the New General QM Final Rule and New Seasoned QM Final Rule and Temporarily Keep the GSE QM Loan Definition in Place, and Will Consider Revising the Seasoned QM Rule and Other Portions of the New QM Final Rule
  • CFPB Acting Director Considering Delay in New Qualified Mortgage Rule
  • Artificial Intelligence and Fair Credit Decisioning: Federal Regulators Lean In
  • Coming in 2021: CFPB Finalizes Changes to “Qualified Mortgage” Definition and Creates a New “Seasoned QM” Loan Category
  • California Enacts Consumer Debt Collector Licensing Administered by DFPI
  • CA DFPI One Step Closer to Finalizing CFL Commercial Loan Disclosure Regulations
  • CA DFPI Issues Third Round Proposed Rules for CFL License Transition to NMLS Platform
  • Newly Enacted California Consumer Financial Protection Law (AB 1864) Reorganizes and Renames Financial Institutions Regulator for Expanded Oversight of Certain Consumer Financial Services Innovation Sector
  • Artificial Intelligence and Fair Credit Decisioning: Federal Regulators Lean In
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) What it means for the Financial Services Industry
  • California Regulator Focuses on Small Balance Consumer Lenders (and Indirectly on Online Lead Generators)
  • Summary of California Laws Enacted in 2018 Impacting the State’s Financial Services Industry: What to Look Forward to (and Prepare for) in California in 2019
  • Happy New Year! California Legislation Addresses Financial Services Industry in 2019 and Beyond


WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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