A former regulatory lawyer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Thomas J. Kearney helps lenders, financial and regulatory technology companies, banks, investors, and other financial services providers navigate issues arising under financial services laws, including TILA, HMDA, ECOA, FCRA, GLBA, EFTA, and RESPA.
Thomas works with clients to operationalize state and federal laws and regulations, ranging from implementing the recent HMDA amendments to assessing program compliance with information privacy, data breach, and cybersecurity requirements.
He counsels fintechs, regtechs, and vendors on developing and maintaining compliant technology and data systems. He advises on transactional matters, evaluates UDAAP risk, provides guidance on state licensing issues, and interfaces with government agencies on behalf of clients.
Thomas joined Akerman from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Regulations, where he played a key role developing and drafting multiple mortgage originations related rulemakings. He led the team responsible for the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rulemakings.
Thomas was substantially involved in the CFPB’s Truth in Lending Act – Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure (Know Before You Owe) rulemaking and the Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage rulemakings.
He also worked on various CFPB outreach efforts regarding the Dodd-Frank Act Title XIV rulemakings, and handled guidance for industry and other CFPB offices on legal and regulatory issues arising under TILA, HMDA, FCRA, and RESPA. He was also responsible for providing regulatory guidance on supervisory matters to the OCC, FDIC, and other prudential regulatory agencies.
Prior to the CFPB, Thomas worked for several years as in-house counsel for a mortgage technology company providing compliance services to national banks, securitizers, non-depository mortgage lenders and other financial services companies.
During his time in-house, he specialized in issues related to federal and state consumer credit and bank regulatory regimes, including state licensing requirements, as well as program requirements for loans owned by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac or insured by the Federal Housing Administration/Veterans Administration.
Thomas is a frequent speaker on consumer financial services topics and is actively involved with several trade associations. He currently serves on the Housing Finance Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee.
- J.D., University of Southern California Gould School of Law, 2004
- B.A., Rutgers University, Economics and History, 2001, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Bar Admissions : District of Columbia; California
Professional Experience :
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2011-2015
- Mavent Inc./Ellie Mae, Inc., 2005-2011
- American Bar Association, Consumer Financial Services Committee, Housing Finance Subcommittee, Co-Vice Chair
- American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Member
- State Bar of California, Business Law Section, Member
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