John Socknat
John Socknat

John D. Socknat

Partner

socknatj@ballardspahr.com
Tel 202.661.2253
Fax 202.661.2299
Washington, DC

John D. Socknat is the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Mortgage Banking Group. Mr. Socknat uses his knowledge and breadth of the business issues affecting the residential and commercial mortgage banking industries and the legal landscape to advise clients on compliance and licensing matters under state and federal law.

Mr. Socknat's clients include mortgage and consumer finance companies, financial institutions, servicers, collection agencies, title companies, real estate brokers, and secondary-market investors. He focuses his practice in matters concerning regulations such as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), financial privacy in Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), state consumer credit and debt collection, and telemarketing-related issues, among others. He also counsels clients on e-commerce issues, including electronic signatures, electronic storage of records, and electronic delivery of credit-related disclosures. In addition, Mr. Socknat has represented clients in asset and stock transactions and joint venture arrangements.

Mr. Socknat performs regulatory compliance due diligence on lenders, servicers, and other settlement service providers; assists with structuring operations and developing compliance programs; and represents clients in state and federal enforcement actions.

Mr. Socknat is a member of the Advisory Council to the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR), and the American, District of Columbia, and Virginia Bar Associations. He is an editor of Mortgage Finance Regulation Answer Book 2011-2012, published by the Practising Law Institute, and author of its “State Law/Preemption” chapter.

Representative Matters  

  • Counseled a client on the regulatory and licensing obligations for a distressed asset disposition platform
  • Represented a client in connection with state Attorneys General actions related to advertising practices
  • Represented clients in connection with Notices of Violation issued by HUD's Mortgagee Review Board 
  • Counseled clients regarding compliance with Fair Labor Standards overtime issues for loan officers, processors, and underwriters
  • Advised a client in connection with regulatory and licensing obligations for an online short-sale platform
  • Advised third-party processors and underwriters regarding SAFE Act licensing obligations
  • Counseled various private equity and hedge funds regarding licensing and other compliance-related issues associated with the acquisition, servicing, and disposition of distressed assets, whole loans and mortgage servicing rights
  • Advised a client in connection with the consolidation and integration of various title agencies onto a single platform
  • Advised state and federal depository institutions regarding loan officer registration obligations imposed by the SAFE Act
  • Completed an operational and compliance review of a specialty servicer

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

District of Columbia Bar Association

Virginia Bar Association

American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR), Advisory Council

Recognition & Accomplishments

Named a Washington, D.C., Super Lawyer, 2013

Publications

Author, 16.08 section of Chapter 16, The Law of Truth in Lending (an update of Truth in Lending by Ralph J. Rohner and Frederick H. Miller), published by the American Bar Association Business Law Section, July 2014

Editor, Mortgage Finance Regulation Answer Book 2011-2012, published by the Practising Law Institute, and author of the “State Law/Preemption” chapter 

Co-author, “Safe Act, Sound Solutions,” The MReport, October 2011 

Co-author, “Compliance Crossroads: Technology That Addresses New Regulations Has To Be Designed with the Help of Policy Experts,” Mortgage Technology, August 2011 

Co-author, “Mortgage Reg Problems, Tech Solutions,” American Banker, April 29, 2011 

Co-author, “Overtime Law Expands to Cover Mortgage Loan Officers,” The Banking Law Journal, June 2010

Recent Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "State Compliance Developments," Mortgage Bankers Association, MBA's Regulatory Compliance Conference 2014, Washington, D.C., September 30, 2014

"Other Relevant Regulatory Issues," Mortgage Bankers Association, MBA's Human Resources Symposium 2014, Washington, D.C., September 11, 2014

Industry Panel, American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators, AARMR 25th Annual Regulatory Conference, Seattle, August 8, 2014

Panelist, "Cybersecurity: Best Practices for Financial Institutions," Ballard Spahr webinar, July 16, 2014

"Mortgage Servicing: An Update on the National Mortgage Settlement and Its Impact on the New Servicing Rules," Ballard Spahr and BDO Consulting webinar, June 26, 2014

"Beyond the Mortgage Industry: New Licensing Frontiers for the NMLS," Ballard Spahr webinar, May 15, 2014

"Special Session: NMLS Update and Working with State Regulators," Mortgage Bankers Association, MBA's Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Conference 2014, San Diego, May 6, 2014

"CFPB Oversight of the Residential Mortgage Industry: Post-January 10 Developments, New and Emerging Regulatory Priorities, Lessons Learned from Recent Enforcement Actions, Broad UDAAP Standards Being Applied by the Bureau, and What To Expect Going Forward," American Conference Institute, 14th National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement, Washington, D.C., April 24, 2014

"Mortgage Servicing Compliance," American Conference Institute, Bank and Non-Bank Forum on Mortgage Servicing Compliance, Washington, D.C., November 21, 2013

"State Policy Issues – 2013 Review: What To Expect in 2014," Mortgage Bankers Association, State & Local Workshop 2013, Washington, D.C., October 25, 2013

"Preparing for the CFPB," Corelogic's Mortgage Fraud and Valuation Consortium, New Orleans, September 25, 2013

Moderator, "A License To Expand: NMLS Administering a Growing Number of State Licenses," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 19, 2013

Panelist, Compliance Panel, Ascent 2013: A Symposium for Customers and Partners of Mortgage Cadence, Denver, June 6, 2013

"SAFE and NMLS Update, Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, Boca Raton, Fla., May 21, 2013

"The New Loan Servicing Standards," October Research/RESPA News webinar, March 21, 2013

"Enforcement Action Update: CFPB and State Agencies," RegList WorkShop 2013, Costa Mesa, Calif., March 14, 2013

Panelist, "What Do the CFPB's Servicing Rules Mean for Your Business?" HousingWire webinar, March 4, 2013

"The New System of Dual Regulatory Supervision, Conference of State Bank Supervisors," San Antonio, February 27, 2013

"Top 10 Takeaways from the CFPB's Ability-To-Repay/QM, Servicing, and Loan Originator Compensation Rules," Ballard Spahr webinar, January 30, 2013

"Advertising Dos and Don'ts for Mortgage Lenders and Brokers," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 6, 2012

"Federal Regulatory Update," Eastern Massachusetts Compliance Network Annual Seminar, Boston, November 1, 2012

Panelist, "Loan Originator Compensation Round 2: The CFPB's Proposed Loan Originator Compensation and Qualification Rules," Ballard Spahr webinar, October 8, 2012

Panelist, "The Evolution of Mortgage Servicing: How the CFPB’s Proposed Servicing Rules Will Affect the Industry," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 6, 2012

Panelist, "Beyond the Numbers: The Impact to the Industry of the Multistate/National Mortgage Settlement, Parts IV and V, Third-Party Vendor Management: Oversight and Liability Monitoring, and Reporting: The Continuing Evolution of the Servicing Standards," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 12, 2012

"SAFE and NMLS Update," Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, Palm Springs, Calif., May 22, 2012

Panelist, "Beyond the Numbers: The Impact to the Industry of the Multistate/National Mortgage Settlement, Part III, Enforcement Actions and Litigation: FHA, AGs, CFPB and Beyond," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 24, 2012

Panelist, "CFPB Exams for Mortgage Companies," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 18, 2012

Panelist, "Beyond the Numbers: The Impact to the Industry of the Multistate/National Mortgage Settlement, Part II, Data, Documentation and Enhanced Consumer Interaction: The Challenges of Implementing the New Servicing Standards," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 11, 2012

Panelist, "Beyond the Numbers: The Impact to the Industry of the Multistate/National Mortgage Settlement, Part I, Identifying and Prioritizing the New Servicing Standards," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 4, 2012

Panelist, "What Does the Multistate/National Settlement Mean to the Mortgage Industry?" Ballard Spahr webinar, March 6, 2012

Panelist, "Urgent Action Needed—Mortgage Industry Facing New FinCEN Requirements," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 16, 2012

"SAFE and Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System Registry (NMLSR) and Other State and Federal Compliance Challenges," Mortgage Bankers Association 2011 Regulatory Compliance Conference, Washington, D.C., September 27, 2011

Panelist, “The Multi-Stage Mortgage Examination Process: Understanding and Responding to Increased Requests for Information and Preparing for the Possibility of Resulting State Enforcement Actions,” ACI’s National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement, Dallas, September 21, 2011 

"State Law Developments," Mortgage Bankers Association, 2011 Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, Boca Raton, Fla., May 15, 2011

“Explaining the Interim Rule on Appraisals,” AllRegs Academy Audio Course, January 26, 2011 

“The Quality Revolution: Leveraging Technology to Restore Faith in Private Label Securitization,” Mortgage Bankers Association, 2010 Annual Convention & Expo, Atlanta, October 26, 2010 

“State Law Developments,” Mortgage Bankers Association, 2010 Regulatory Compliance Conference, Washington, D.C., September 26, 2010 

“Financial Reform: What Every Mortgage Banker Needs to Know,” AllRegs Academy Audio Course, August 19, 2010 

“Breaking Changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act: How These Changes Impact Loan Originators & Current Business Model,” AllRegs Academy Audio Course, May 26, 2010 

“A Heated Debate: An Update on the SAFE Act,” Distressed Asset Roundtable & Exchange (DARE) 2010, Washington, D.C., May 13, 2010 

“Must You Pay Mortgage Loan Officers Overtime? Minimizing Your Risk Of Liability After The DOL’s New FLSA Opinion,” WestLegalEdCenter, May 11, 2010 

“Workshop 3: State Law Developments,” Mortgage Bankers Association, 2010 Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Conference, San Diego, May 2, 2010

The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (J.D. 1995)

James Madison University (B.A. 1990, cum laude)

District of Columbia

Virginia