Peter Cubita
Peter Cubita

Peter N. Cubita

Of Counsel

cubitap@ballardspahr.com
Tel 646.346.8004
Fax 212.223.1942
New York

Peter N. Cubita is one of the leading consumer financial services attorneys in the country, having practiced in the area for more than 30 years. His experience is wide-ranging, encompassing regulatory compliance, transactional, class action litigation, and government enforcement matters, with extensive experience in the motor vehicle retail finance and leasing areas. Before joining Ballard Spahr, Mr. Cubita worked as an in-house attorney at Ally Financial Inc. and previously was in private practice at a major law firm.

Mr. Cubita developed the first generation of retail installment sale contracts and vehicle lease agreements for the retail sales finance and retail leasing programs of the captive auto finance company of a major foreign automaker. In addition to his regulatory compliance experience, Mr. Cubita has substantial experience in class action litigation and government enforcement matters involving a wide variety of consumer financial services issues.

His advocacy efforts in the litigation context have yielded seminal appellate decisions in cases presenting novel issues of consequence to the financial services industry. For example, Mr. Cubita successfully briefed and argued the appeal in Perrone v. GMAC, which resulted in the first appellate decision to analyze whether detrimental reliance is required to recover actual damages for TILA disclosure violations. He also represented GMAC in connection with its interlocutory class certification appeal in Coleman v. GMAC, which resulted in a seminal holding that compensatory damages under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act are not recoverable by a Rule 23(b)(2) class, and in the subsequent district court proceedings. While in-house at Ally, Mr. Cubita co-authored briefs that resulted in significant decisions holding that negative equity on a trade-in vehicle financed under a retail installment sale contract is a “purchase-money obligation” protected from cramdown by the “Hanging Paragraph” of the Bankruptcy Code.

Mr. Cubita has lectured and written extensively on myriad consumer financial services issues. His articles have been published in The Business Lawyer, the Consumer Finance Law Quarterly Report, and the Consumer Financial Services Law Report. Mr. Cubita received a Burton Award for Legal Achievement for his groundbreaking Business Lawyer article titled “The ECOA Discrimination Proscription and Disparate Impact – Interpreting the Meaning of the Words That Actually Are There.”

Representative Matters

Automotive Credit Discrimination

  • In the Matter of Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank, Consent Order, Administrative Proceeding No. 2013-CFPB-001 0 (CFPB filed Dec. 20, 2013)

  • United States of America v. Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank, Consent Order, Case No. 13-cv-15180-AJT-MAR (E.D. Mich. Dec. 23, 2013) (counterpart automotive ECOA settlement with the DOJ)

  • Anderson v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, No. 4:03cv311-MB, 2006 WL 1976010 (N.D. Miss. July 12, 2006) (order dismissing alleged ECOA "rate spread" claims based upon ECOA statute of limitations), aff'd mem., No. 07-60288, 269 Fed. Appx. 452, 2008 WL 686337 (5th Cir. Mar. 11, 2008) (per curiam

  • Rutledge v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, No. 2:05-CV-00667 (E.D. Wise. May 10, 2006) (notice of voluntary dismissal by plaintiff of putative class action complaint alleging ECOA and various state law claims with respect to finance charge "rate spreads")

  • Adams v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, 307 F. Supp. 2d 812 (N.D. Miss. 2004) (granting remand motion)

  • Coleman v. GMAC, 220 F.R.D. 64 (M.D. Tenn. 2004), petition for leave to appeal dismissed as moot, No. 04-501 (6th Cir. May 14, 2004)

  • Ceiba v. Ford Motor Credit Company et al., No. 03-01402-RLB, 2003 WL 22204560 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 22, 2003) (memorandum decision affording plaintiff 20 days to amend its complaint); No. 03-01402-RLB, (E.D. Pa. Nov. 20, 2003) (order dismissing amended complaint with prejudice as to GMAC) (represented GMAC)

  • Wilson v. Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance, Inc., No. 3-02-0383, 2003 WL 1877336 (M.D. Tenn. Apr. 9, 2003) (memorandum order and decision granting defendants’ renewed motion to compel arbitration and to dismiss)

  • Coleman v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, 296 F.3d 443 (6th Cir. 2002) (compensatory damages under the ECOA are not recoverable by a Rule 23(b)(2) class)

  • Harris v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, No. 01-CV-02087 (W.D. La. May 2, 2002) (order granting plaintiffs’ notice of dismissal with prejudice) (alleging ECOA claims based upon alleged disparities with respect to finance charge “rate spreads”)

Other Auto Finance Matters

  • In re Westfall, 599 F.3d 498 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding that debt attributable to negative equity in a trade-in vehicle that is included in the amount financed under a retail installment sale contract is part of the “purchase-money obligation” protected from cramdown under the “Hanging Paragraph” of the Bankruptcy Code)

  • In re Peaslee, 13 N.Y.3d 75, 913 N.E.2d 387, 885 N.Y.S.2d 1 (2009) (affirmatively answering question of state law certified for resolution by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: whether “the portion of an automobile retail installment sale attributable to a trade-in vehicle’s ‘negative equity’ [is] part of the ‘purchase-money obligation’ arising from the purchase of a new car, as defined under New York’s U.C.C.”)

  • In re Price, 562 F.3d 618 (4th Cir. 2009) (co-author of amicus brief of GMAC LLC concerning dispositive state law arguments) (debt attributable to negative equity and gap insurance included in amount financed under retail installment sale contract is a “purchase-money obligation” protected from cramdown by the “Hanging Paragraph” of the Bankruptcy Code)

  • Anderson v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, 476 F. Supp. 2d 624 (N.D. Miss. 2007) (granting motion for judgment on the pleadings with respect to state law claims regarding alleged "best rate" misrepresentations by dealership personnel), aff'd mem., No. 07-60288, 269 Fed. Appx. 452, 2008 WL 686337 (5th Cir. Mar. 11, 2008) (per curiam)

  • Danny Ford et al. v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, No. 4:00-CV-00887-WRW (E.D. Ark. Mar. 29, 2002) (order granting GMAC motion to dismiss alleged federal and state claims relating to finance charge "rate spreads") 

Vehicle Leasing

  • Clement v. American Honda Finance Corporation, 145 F. Supp. 2d 206 (D. Conn. 2001) (granting in part and denying in part cross motions for summary judgment)

  • Gilbert Andry, Jr., et al. v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, No. 97-3663 (E.D. La. July 15, 1999) (order and reasons for granting GMAC motion to clarify the scope of the class relating to the issue of actual damages), aff'd sub. nom, Perrone v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, 232 F.3d 433 (5th Cir. 2000) (individualized showing of detrimental reliance is required to recover actual damages with respect to alleged Consumer Leasing Act disclosure violation, thereby precluding certification of CLA actual damages claim), on remand, Andry v. GMAC, No. 97-2552 (Dec. 21, 2001) (order granting GMAC's unopposed motion to decertify the remaining class)

  • Pastreich v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, No. 98-600267 (New York Sup. Ct. N.Y. County Dec. 29, 1998) (granting GMAC motion to dismiss putative class action complaint challenging reasonableness of lease late fee)

  • Sklar v. World Omni Financial Corp., No. 96-CV05075 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 25, 1998) (order denying motion for certification of class with respect to alleged lease security deposits claims)

  • Felts v. World Omni Financial Corp., No. 97-156-Civ-J-20(C) (M.D. Fla. filed Feb. 19, 1997) (vehicle lease early termination claims based principally upon an inflated residual value theory)

  • Simon v. World Omni Leasing, Inc., No. 91-0896-AH-M (S.D. Ala. Aug. 16, 1995) (order of settlement approval and final judgment); No. 91-0896, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18795 (S.D. Ala. July 13, 1992) (decision and order granting WOLI motion for partial judgment on the pleadings with respect to substantive reasonableness of lease early termination charges based upon lack of standing)

  • Smith v. Toyota Motor Credit Corporation, No. 93-CV-00695 (E.D. Ark. Aug. 17, 1994) (order granting TMCC and TMIS motion for partial judgment on the pleadings with respect to complaint alleging that TILA required that cost of credit disclosures be provided with respect to MBP contract sold in connection with a consumer lease with a total lease obligation greater than $25,000)

  • Wesley v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, No. 91 C 3368 (N.D. Ill. 1992) (alleging various claims relating to Consumer Leasing Act disclosure requirements and limitations upon early termination charges); 1992 WL 57948 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 20, 1992) (granting class certification motion but refusing to certify a multistate class); 1992 WL 281325 (Oct. 6, 1992) (memorandum opinion and order granting in part and denying in part GMAC motion to dismiss) 

  • Represented GMAC in connection with appeal from adverse bankruptcy court decision in Woodson v. GMAC, 80 B.R. 533 (Bankr. N.D. Okl. 1987) (vehicle lease recharacterization under UCC § 1-201(37))

Credit Cards

  • In Re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation, 265 F. Supp. 2d 385 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) (representing defendant MasterCard International Incorporated) (dismissing alleged TILA claims against MasterCard and Visa; requiring allegations of detrimental reliance to support TILA actual damages claims)

  • Citibank Multistate Attorney General Telemarketing Investigation: Press Release, Office of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Agreement Curbs Telemarketing Appeals To Bank Customers, Multistate Settlement Requires Bank to Monitor Promotions by its Business Partners (Feb. 27, 2002) (multistate AG investigation regarding: (1) credit card issuer’s alleged provision of allegedly confidential cardholder information to third-party vendors of club memberships offering certain products and services to its credit cardholders; and (2) the marketing activities of the recipient third-party vendors and telemarketers retained by them)  

  • Multistate Attorney General Settlement Concerning Bankruptcy Reaffirmation Practices: E.g., Press Release, Department of Law, State of Georgia, Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker, Baker Announces Multi-State Consumer Settlement (Aug. 7, 1998) (http://www.state.ga.us/ago/press/press.cgi?prfile=PR.19980807.01); Final Consent Judgment, Order and Decree, Missouri v. Montgomery Ward Credit Corp. and General Electric Capital Corp., No. 98CC-002734 (Mo. Cir. Ct. St. Louis County Aug. 7, 1998)

  • Cazzanigi v. General Electric Credit Corporation, 132 Wash. 2d 433, 938 P.2d 819 (1997) (en banc) (deregulation of service charges under Washington Retail Installment Sales Act applies retroactively)

Residential Mortgage Lending and Servicing

  • State of Ohio v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC and Ally Financial Inc., No. 2011-0890 (Ohio Sup. Ct.): Contributed to the briefing of controlling questions of state UDAP law certified to the Ohio Supreme Court by a federal district court. Arguments advanced by GMAC Mortgage and Ally ultimately were adopted by the Ohio Supreme Court in a different case that was used as the vehicle for resolving two of the controlling questions of state law after the GMAC Mortgage case was stayed. See Anderson v. Barclay’s Capital Real Estate, Inc., 136 Ohio St. 3d 31, 989 N.E.2d 997 (2013) (holding that the servicing of a residential mortgage loan is not a “consumer transaction” and a residential mortgage loan servicer is not a “supplier” subject to regulation under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practice Act)

  • States v. GMAC Mortgage Corporation, No. 90 Civ. 7924 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 29, 1992) (Final Judgment resolving multistate AG lawsuit concerning mortgage escrow accounting practices and establishing new methodologies for calculating amounts required to be paid into mortgage escrow accounts)

  • New York State PMI Cancellation Inquiry: Press Release, Office of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Homeowners Due Refunds for Mortgage Insurance Overcharges, Six Mortgage Companies Reach Agreement with Attorney General on Needed Reforms (Dec. 5, 2000) (represented GEMICO in connection with industry-wide investigation regarding compliance with New York PMI cancellation statute) 

Student Lending

  • New York State Attorney General Student Loan Marketing Inquiry of GMAC Bank: Press Release, Attorney General Cuomo Announced Groundbreaking Settlements with 8 Companies That Market Student Loans Directly to Consumers and Their Families (Sept. 9, 2008) (represented GMAC Bank in connection with investigation regarding allegedly deceptive marketing and origination practices)

Professional Activities

American Bar Association, Consumer Financial Services Committee; former Chair and Vice Chair, Committee's Subcommittee on Personal Property Financing

New York State Bar Association, Banking Law Committee; former Chair, Committee on Consumer Financial Services

American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, Fellow and former Regent

Conference on Consumer Finance Law, Governing Committee

Consumer Financial Services Law Report, Financial Services Advisor

Advisor, Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors 

Former Legal Committee Co-Chair, Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors

Former Subcommittee Counsel, American Financial Services Association Law Committee, Subcommittee on Vehicle Financing

Recognition & Accomplishments

Recipient of Burton Award for Legal Achievement for article titled “The ECOA Discrimination Proscription and Disparate Impact – Interpreting the Meaning of the Words That Actually Are There,” 61 Bus. Law. 829 (2006)

Publications (Author or Co-Author) 

"Second Circuit Holds That TCPA Does Not Permit Unilateral Revocation of Consent Obtained Contractually," Ballard Spahr alert, June 28, 2017 

"Buyer of Defaulted Debt Does Not Collect Debts ‘Due Another’ Under FDCPA Debt Collection Definition, SCOTUS Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, June 15, 2017 

"CFPB and DOJ Directed to Address State AGs' Proposal to Redirect Unused Settlement Funds to NAAG," Consumer Finance Monitor, April 24, 2017 

"Sixth Circuit Denies Arbitration in TCPA Class Action for Calls to Past Customers," Ballard Spahr alert, February 21, 2017

"NY Licensing Proposal Threatens New Burdens on Financial Services Providers, Reduced Credit Availability," Ballard Spahr alert, February 14, 2017 

"DOJ Files Redlining Lawsuit Against KleinBank," Ballard Spahr alert, January 30, 2017

"Republican Members of House Financial Services Committee Release New Report on CFPB's Auto Finance Actions," Consumer Finance Monitor, January 23, 2017 

"FTC Targets Auto Dealers, Alleges Deceptive Financing Practices," Ballard Spahr alert, October 13, 2016

"District Court Dismisses Disparate Impact Claim of Inclusive Communities," Ballard Spahr alert, September 1, 2016

"FTC Consent Order Creates Uncertainty for Advertising of Credit, Lease Offers," Ballard Spahr alert, July 19, 2016

"Industry Trade Groups Renew Challenge to HUD Disparate Impact Rule," Ballard Spahr alert, April 21, 2016

"Loan Guarantors Are Not 'Applicants' under ECOA, Equally Divided U.S. Supreme Court Affirms," Ballard Spahr alert, March 25, 2016

"FTC Proposes Survey of Consumer Experience in Financing Auto Purchases through Dealers," Ballard Spahr alert, January 5, 2016

"Divided U.S. Supreme Court Holds Disparate Impact Claims Cognizable under FHA, but Subject to Safeguards Against Abusive Disparate Impact Claims," CCFL Quarterly Report, Vol. 68, No. 4 , December 2015

"Auto Finance Company Agrees to Change Dealer Compensation Policy to Settle CFPB and DOJ Fair Lending Claims," Ballard Spahr alert, July 16, 2015

"CFPB Finalizes Rule to Supervise Nonbank Auto Finance Companies, Releases Auto Finance Examination Procedures for Banks, Nonbanks," Ballard Spahr alert, June 11, 2015

"Auto Finance and Disparate Impact: Substantive Lessons Learned from Class Certification Decisions," Consumer Financial Services Law Report, May 1, 2015

"'Operation Ruse Control' Announcement Highlights Importance of Auto Finance Compliance," Ballard Spahr alert, March 31, 2015

"Feds Obtain First-Ever Settlement over Allegedly Discriminatory 'Buy Here, Pay Here' Car Dealership Financing," Ballard Spahr alert, February 12, 2015

"'Third Time' Is the Charm: U.S. Supreme Court Hears Argument in Disparate Impact Case," Ballard Spahr alert, January 28, 2015

"Amicus Curiae Oppose Disparate-Impact Liability," Ballard Spahr alert, December 12, 2014

"Federal Trade Commission Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to Used Car Rule," Ballard Spahr alert, November 26, 2014

"Federal District Court Vacates HUD Disparate Impact Rule," Ballard Spahr alert, November 5, 2014

"CFPB Releases Report on Fair Credit Exams and White Paper on Proxy Methodology," Ballard Spahr alert, September 22, 2014

"CFPB Proposes Rule to Supervise Nonbank Auto Finance Companies," Ballard Spahr alert, September 18, 2014

"Countrywide Enters into Fair Lending Settlement with the New York State Attorney General," Consumer Financial Services Law Report, December 27, 2006

"The ECOA Discrimination Proscription and Disparate Impact – Interpreting the Meaning of the Words That Actually Are There," 61 Bus. Law. 829, 2006

"The Evolution of the TILA Actual Damages Standard," 57 Consumer Fin. L. Q. Rep. 197, 2003

"The New York State Predatory Lending Law," 57 Consumer Fin. L. Q. Rep. 135, 2003

"RESPA: The Changing Landscape," 58 Bus. Law. 1259, 2003

"The Application of RESPA Section 8 to Mortgage Broker Compensation," 55 Bus. Law. 1327, 2000

"New York Attorney General Announces Assurance of Discontinuance Regarding Chase Information-Sharing Practices," Consumer Financial Services Law Report, March 20, 2000

"Court Applies TILA Class Action Limitation on Statutory Damages," Consumer Financial Services Law Report, Volume 3, Issue 11, November 1999

"Toward Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Legislation?" 54 Bus. Law. 1453, 1999

"Toward a Uniform Consumer Leases Act?" 52 Bus. Law. 1041, 1998

"An Overview of State Automobile Leasing Legislation," 52 Bus. Law. 1087, 1997

"The Advent of Comprehensive State Automobile Leasing Legislation," 50 Bus. Law. 1171, 1995

"High Cost Mortgage Legislation," The New York Law Journal, May 1, 1995

"An Overview of the Proposed New York State Automobile Leasing Legislation," 46 Consumer Fin. L. Q. Rep. 61, 1992

"A Practical Guide to the Truth in Lending Act," Executive Enterprises, 1990

"Implementation of the Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act of 1988: The Regulatory Response," 44 Bus. Law. 1427, 1989

"The Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act of 1988: A Federal Alternative to the Rate Ceiling Approach," 44 Bus. Law. 941, 1989

"Credit Card Application and Solicitation Disclosure Legislation: An Alternative to the Rate Ceiling Approach," 43 Bus. Law. 1557, 1988

"Recent Developments in the Recharacterization of Personal Property Leases," 41 Consumer Fin. L. Q. Rep. 42, 1987

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Lessons to Be Learned by the Auto Finance Industry from the First Wave of CFPB Exams," Ballard Spahr webinar, November 21, 2016

"What Lies Ahead in the World of Fair Lending?" and "Areas of Regulatory Focus in the Servicing and Collection of Retail and Lease Contracts," ACVL Legal Committee, Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors Annual Conference, Charleston, SC, October 17, 2016 

"CFPB: What Can We Expect This Year?," General Session, Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors Annual Conference, San Diego, September 29, 2015

"Vehicle Finance and Leasing Litigation Update," ACVL Legal Committee, Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors Annual Conference, San Diego, September 28, 2015 

Panelist, "The Supreme Court Decision in Inclusive Communities," American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting, Personal Property Financing Subcommittee, Chicago, September 19, 2015

"Implications for Nonbanks and Banks from the CFPB's Auto Finance Larger Participant Rule and New Auto Finance Exam Procedures," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 18, 2015

"Potential Implications of the Alternative Inclusive Communities Outcome Scenarios," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 14, 2015

"Selected Auto Origination Topics," Auto Originations Roundtable, Auriemma Consulting Group Inc., San Diego, December 9, 2014

"CFPB Supervision and Related Topics," Auto Compliance Roundtable, Auriemma Consulting Group Inc., Las Vegas, December 3, 2014 

"Auto Finance IV: Regulatory Scrutiny of Ancillary Products in Auto Finance and Leasing," Ballard Spahr webinar, November 5, 2014

"Auto Finance III: UDAAP in the Auto Finance and Leasing Industries," Ballard Spahr webinar, October 21, 2014

"Auto Finance II: Fair Credit," Ballard Spahr webinar, October 16, 2014

"Auto Finance I: How the CFPB's Larger Participant Rule for the Auto Finance Market Will Change the Game for Nonbank Auto Finance Companies," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 30, 2014

"How a Larger Participant Rule for the Auto Finance Market Will Change the Game for Non-Bank Auto Finance Companies," General Session, Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors Annual Conference, New Orleans, September 16, 2014

"Lessons Learned from the CFPB's Enforcement Actions to Date" and "State Enforcement Powers Under Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act," ACVL Legal Committee, Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors Annual Conference, New Orleans, September 15-16, 2014

"How a Larger Participant Rule Will Impact Auto Finance Companies," Auto Compliance Roundtable, Auriemma Consulting Group, Inc., Chicago, July 30, 2014 

"A Deep Dive into Automotive ECOA Issues Associated with Dealer Finance Charge Participation," Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors Annual Conference, Austin, September 16-17, 2013

"Auto Finance Industry in the CFPB's Crosshairs," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 16, 2013

"Recent Developments in Consumer Credit Regulatory Law," Weil, Gotshal & Manges High Stakes Financial Services Lending and Litigation Issues Symposium, New York City, May 10, 2007 

"An Overview of Selected Legal Issues Presented by the Automotive ECOA ‘Rate Spread’ Litigations," American Conference Institute Fourth National Advanced Guide to Consumer Finance Litigation and Class Actions, Chicago, April 7, 2005 

"Challenges to Discretionary ‘Rate Spreads’: The Automotive ECOA ‘Rate Spread’ Litigations," Weil, Gotshal & Manges High Stakes Financial Services Lending & Litigation Issues Symposium, Dallas, February 16, 2005, and New York City, May 9, 2005 

"Automobile Leasing and Financing Class Actions," American Conference Institute Third Annual Litigator’s Guide to Consumer Finance Class Actions, New York City, September 29, 2004 

Panelist, “Fair Lending and Automobile Finance: Is There a Case for Discrimination?" American Bar Association Consumer Financial Services Committee Forum, Seattle, April 2, 2004

"Overview of Predatory Lending," GMAC Financial Services Legal Staff Conference, Detroit, September 18, 2002

Program Chair, PLI Consumer Credit 1993, New York City, July 12, 19, and 26, and August 3, 1993

"The FTC Credit Practices Trade Regulation Rule," New York State Bar Association Banking, Corporation and Business Law Section Fall Meeting, Burlington, Vermont 1984


















St. John's University School of Law (J.D. 1982)
Articles Editor, St. John's Law Review; Recipient, St. Thomas More Scholarship

Iona College (B.A. 1979, summa cum laude)

New York