Ballard Spahr has created a Mortgage Banking Group, with the arrival of a team of four attorneys whose skill and depth of experience put them at the forefront of evolving regulatory developments in the industry, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

Partners Richard J. Andreano, Jr., John D. Socknat, and Michael S. Waldron will serve as Practice Leaders for Ballard Spahr’s newly created Mortgage Banking Group. Along with associate Reid F. Herlihy, they come to Ballard Spahr from the Washington, D.C., office of Patton Boggs. The four lawyers, who served as editors and co-authors for Mortgage Finance Regulation Answer Book 2011-2012, published by the Practising Law Institute, will be resident in Ballard Spahr’s Washington, D.C., office.

As part of Ballard Spahr’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services Group, the Mortgage Banking Group includes more than two dozen attorneys in nearly all of Ballard Spahr’s 13 offices across the country. The incoming attorneys will lead a team that performs a broad range of regulatory work, advising mortgage companies and other financial firms on compliance and licensing issues, structuring operations, and representing clients in federal and state enforcement actions. They also advise clients on issues such as e-commerce, electronic signatures, and electronic records storage. Ballard Spahr attorneys handle class action and other mortgage lending lawsuits across the country.

“Acquiring this group of superbly talented lawyers fills out our Consumer Financial Services Group in an important way by adding attorneys whose focus is on residential mortgage regulatory work—a need we’ve been aware of for some time,” Mr. Stewart said. “We’re confident that these lawyers will be a perfect complement to our existing practice.”

Alan S. Kaplinsky, the head of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, said: “We have been looking for several years to identify a group of experienced mortgage banking regulatory lawyers, and joining forces with this group is a tremendous opportunity. We have one of the largest consumer financial services practices in the country, with dozens of lawyers who represent the types of clients that this group is bringing to the firm. The addition of this group is 1+1=3.”

Said Mr. Andreano, “We are excited about the expanded opportunities we will have by combining our mortgage banking practice with Ballard’s robust Consumer Financial Services Group, and the ability to provide a broader range of services to our clients. In particular, the mortgage litigation practice at Ballard is a perfect fit for our clients.”

Attorneys in the Mortgage Banking practice represent clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations in both the residential and commercial mortgage banking industries. They counsel clients on issues concerning the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Housing Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). They also advise industry service providers such as document preparation companies, telemarketers, loan fulfillment companies, and trade associations.