Heather S. Klein


Tel 215.864.8732
Fax 215.864.8999

Heather Klein counsels financial services clients on complex regulatory and enforcement issues. Businesses and their legal departments regularly call upon Heather to support them in developing and marketing new products, launching and managing third-party relationships, and identifying and remediating risks in origination, servicing, and collections. She serves as a trusted business partner to help guide clients successfully through high-stakes matters, from state and federal regulatory examinations and investigations to multimillion-dollar acquisitions of financial services companies.

Heather assists companies that specialize in offering financial products and services to consumers and small businesses, including fintechs, banks, payment processors, and servicers. She also works closely with consumer product companies and educational institutions that provide financing to their customers or students.

Heather’s pragmatic approach to her work is informed by an in-depth knowledge of the law and an awareness of litigation and regulatory risks honed by years of experience. She is regarded as an authority on issues facing student loan and income share agreement (ISA) originators, servicers, and investors. Additionally, she frequently advises clients on questions about fair lending and debt collection, and is a regular speaker on these and other topics for in-house lawyers, trade associations, and other professional groups.

Among her experience, Heather:

  • Advises creditors on the creation of special purpose credit programs under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and drafts written plans documenting SPCPs
  • Led financial services due diligence for a private equity firm’s $350 million acquisition of a commercial payments company
  • Drafted the ISA and disclosures for the first ISA program at a major U.S. university
  • Conducted compliance assessment and follow-up work for a student loan servicing company facing a CFPB investigation; the Bureau ultimately closed the investigation with no enforcement action
  • Represents a credit card issuer in responding to a CFPB investigation involving novel fair lending issues
  • Advised a financial services company on acquisition of an ISA company, and continues to advise the company on the impact of changes in state and federal laws on product expansion
  • Regularly counsels the country’s largest student lenders and servicers on a broad range of legal and compliance issues, including borrower disclosures, electronic contracting, refinance programs, and collections
  • Serves as regulatory counsel for an investment management firm that leads a secured credit facility for a retail financing company
  • Performed pro bono work for a startup solar energy company, a community development financial institution, and a nonprofit providing low-interest loans and financial education to transitioning foster youth

Heather has worked at the forefront of consumer financial services legal developments since her legal career began. In law school, she was one of the first interns at the CFPB, where she assisted the Implementation Team with setting up the agency’s supervisory and enforcement functions. Her work included analyzing the Bureau’s then-novel authorities in a number of markets, including private student lending and mortgage servicing. Before joining Ballard Spahr, Heather was a fellow in the then-newly created New York Department of Financial Services when the New York Financial Services Law took effect, merging the state’s banking and insurance departments. There, she worked with the new Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection Division to initiate investigations of lender-placed insurance and variable annuities, draft legislation, and probe privacy and data security concerns with mobile wallets.

Professional Activities

American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Consumer Financial Services Committee; Co-Vice Chair, Truth in Lending Subcommittee; past Young Lawyer Liaison, Deposit Products and Payment Systems Subcommittee and Fair Access to Financial Services Subcommittee

National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) Legal Committee


Co-author, Chapter 9, "Billing Error Resolution," The Law of Truth in Lending 2018 Supplement, American Bar Association 

Co-author, "Vermont Enacts Loan Solicitation License, Amends Other Financial Regulation Licensing Provisions," Ballard Spahr alert, June 2, 2017

Co-author, "Student Loan Servicing Laws Enacted in Washington, D.C., Proposed in New York," Ballard Spahr alert, February 27, 2017

"Fair Lending and UDAAP Issues in Credit and Marketing Models," Consumer Financial Services Committee Newsletter, American Bar Association, March 2016

Co-author, Chapter 9, "Billing Error Resolution," The Law of Truth in Lending 2015 Supplement, American Bar Association

Co-author, "New York Issues Far-Reaching Debt Collection Regulations," Ballard Spahr alert, December 5, 2014

Co-author, "Defense Department Proposes Expansion of Military Lending Act Regulations," Ballard Spahr alert, September 30, 2014

"Guest Commentary: Testing the 'Effects Test' Is Not a Test for Fair Lending Enforcement," Consumer Financial Services Law Report, Vol. 17, Issue 12, December 10, 2013

Co-author, "DOJ Settles Fair Lending Case against Auto Dealer," Ballard Spahr alert, September 23, 2013

Co-author, "Debt Collectors, Meet the New Cop on the Beat: Implications of CFPB's Supervision of Debt Collection Market," Bloomberg BNA's Banking Report, January 1, 2013

Co-author, "New York Federal Court Certifies Class Alleging Fraudulent Collection Practices Based on Documentation Deficiencies," Ballard Spahr alert, September 19, 2012

Speaking Engagements

"The Times at the CFPB are A-Changing: Perspectives on the CFPB Under Acting Director Uejio and Director Chopra, with Special Guest Richard Cordray," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 2, 2021

"Consumer Financial Services in Turbulent Times," Ballard Spahr CLE Webcast Series, October 26, 2020 - January 11, 2021

"The CFPB’s Final Collection Rules– What’s In, What’s Out, and Where To Go From Here?" Ballard Spahr webinar, November 13, 2020

"Understanding the CFPB's Final Rule on Debt Collection," NCHER Virtual Annual Conference, November 10, 2020

"California Ramps Up Its Consumer Financial Protection Laws: What You Need to Know, with Special Guests Richard Cordray and Bret Ladine," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 29, 2020

Moderator, "Hot Topics in Income Share Agreements," National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) Legal Meeting, Washington, D.C., March 12, 2020

"Student Lending Update," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 25, 2020

"Increasing Regulation: What Commercial Collectors and Litigators Need to Know About CFPB Regulations, Social Media Ethics and Pending Legislation," Commercial Law League of America Eastern Region Collections Conference, November 14, 2019

"The CFPB's New Proposed Debt Collection Rule," Ballard Spahr webinar, May 14, 2019

"Consumer Financial Services Outlook 2019: Student Lending," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 26, 2019

"Hot Issues for Auto Finance in 2019," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 12, 2019

"Compliance Issues for Campuses," Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations Higher Education Compliance Seminar, Riverdale, New York, May 3, 2018

"Online Advertising for Consumer Financial Products: Fair Lending Issues and Risks," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 17, 2018

"CFPB Update," Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations Annual Conference, Arlington, Virginia, January 29, 2018 

"What Legal Challenges Will 2018 Bring for Student Loan Originators and Servicers?" Ballard Spahr webinar, January 17, 2018

"CFPB Criticism of Student Loan Servicers - What's Next?," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 8, 2017 

"Higher Education Finance: Income Share Agreements," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 28, 2017

"Legal Framework of Income Share Agreements," National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) Winter Legal Meeting, Washington, D.C., March 24, 2017

"The Implications of Madden v. Midland for Online Lending," LendIt USA 2016, San Francisco, April 12, 2016

"How Financial Institutions Can Prevent and Defend Against Redlining Fair Lending Claims," an American Banker webinar, January 13, 2016

"Advertising and Issuing Credit Online," American Bar Association Consumer Financial Services Committee Meeting, Park City, Utah, January 9, 2016

"Recent Developments in Student Loan Servicing," Ballard Spahr webinar, August 11, 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

"Are New York’s Debt Collection Regulations a Sign of What the CFPB Has in Store?" Ballard Spahr webinar, February 19, 2015

"The CFPB’s Evolving Complaint Database: Learn What’s Coming," a CDIA webinar, February 12, 2015

"CFPB Update," Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations Annual Conference, Arlington, Virginia, January 26, 2015

"Everything You Want To Know about CFPB Exams but Have Been Afraid To Ask: An Insider's Perspective," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 9, 2014

"Disparate Impact and Fair Lending Enforcement: What You Need To Know To Protect Yourself," Bank Safety and Soundness Advisor webinar, March 5, 2013

"Creditors, Collectors, and Debt Buyers Beware: What the FTC’s Debt Buying Study Means for the Consumer Financial Services Industry," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 21, 2013

"The CFPB Will Not Be Grading on a Curve! Part I in a Ballard Spahr Webinar Series on the CFPB Education Loan Examination Procedures," Ballard Spahr webinar, January 15, 2013

Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. 2011)
Staff Member, The Tax Lawyer

Cornell University (B.A. 2007, with distinction in all subjects)
Pauline and Irving Tanner Dean's Scholar


New York