From: Jeffrey Sussman, Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OFFIT KURMAN’S MORTGAGE COMPLIANCE DEPARTMENT TO BE HEADED BY TOP INDUSTRY ATTORNEY
Baltimore, MD — Offit Kurman, one of the fastest growing law firms in the mid-Atlantic region, has announced that Ari Karen, who is known as a preeminent expert in the representation of mortgage and community banks and a principal at Offit Kurman, has been named to head the firm’s recently formed Mortgage Compliance Department. Offit Kurman’s Mortgage Compliance Department will specialize in Mortgage lending compliance and the Department will include a Lenders Outsourcing Compliance Solutions Group. “Our Mortgage Compliance Department is uniquely suited to the current enforcement environment, providing lenders more benefits than an internal chief compliance officer at a substantially lower cost” said Mr. Karen. “Lenders will be able to retain the services of a dedicated compliance group, headed by an experienced attorney, so that they can utilize our services to develop, oversee, implement, manage, and audit the efficacy of a multifaceted compliance strategy aimed at achieving the CFPB’s broad compliance goals and aspirations. Charges for most services will be on a flat annual fee basis. Offit Kurman is the only firm I am aware of offering such an in-depth cost sensitive and complete solution-oriented service.”
Mr. Karen’s appointment is extremely timely, as the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) released its Examination Guide in March, setting forth a new compliance and enforcement strategy. This new strategy demands that lenders implement coordinated, ongoing, and active compliance management capable of self-identifying and self-correcting deficiencies to prevent violations. Specifically, the CFPB now requires every institution to have an appropriately qualified and independent chief compliance officer (or equivalent outside consultant) with sufficient authority and access to develop, implement, integrate, oversee, and audit compliance to ensure it becomes part of the day-to-day considerations of management and all lending operations staff. Lenders are now required to demonstrate an ability to detect, prevent, and correct practices that present a significant risk of legal violation.
Regarding the unique fact that the compliance services will be administered to clients through the law firm, Mr. Karen said “performing our compliance services through the law firm as opposed to an external consulting company will encourage more open communications which ultimately aid in developing effective and preventative compliance solutions.” Mr. Karen also noted “simply knowing that our advice is backed by a firm with a 25 year history and 90-plus attorneys gives lenders the confidence to know that a firm of substance and long term tenure will be able to service client needs. . We are not going anywhere, our firm will still be here when clients have need. That is not something you can get with an employee or a small consulting firm.”
Mr. Karen has counseled numerous lenders, community banks and financial services firms on the development and implementation of cutting edge policies and procedures that have allowed institutions to remain compliant without disrupting proven business models or undermining their competitive advantages. In addition, he has spoken before the Empire State Banking Association, the Community Mortgage Lenders of America, Lenders One and Mortgage Banker and Broker Associations for New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Wisconsin. Mr. Karen has delivered speeches to human resources groups, and is frequently asked to speak on nationwide audio conferences and webinars.
Offit Kurman, a full- service commercial law firm, has offices in Baltimore, Bethesda, Owings Mills, and Maple Lawn, Maryland: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Tysons Corner, Virginia. The firm’s website is www.offitkurman.com.