John V. Levonick

Of Counsel

levonickj@ballardspahr.com
Tel 646.346.8011
Fax 212.223.1942
New York

John V. Levonick is a mortgage banking and financial services attorney who focuses on regulatory compliance and emerging technology. With nearly 20 years of legal experience, John works with primary and secondary market financial services firms, technology and service providers, and federal and state regulatory authorities to define, translate, and build business infrastructure around regulatory obligations.

John worked for more than 17 years as in-house counsel at technology, consulting, auditing, and mortgage lending firms, in roles that included general counsel, chief compliance officer, and senior regulatory counsel. With a background in cloud computing and IT governance, John guides mortgage banking and other financial services firms effectively through the ongoing evolution of IT infrastructure regulation as the federal and state governments implement emerging cybersecurity and privacy laws.

John's experience enables him to address the latest emerging issues—such as consumer debt as a digital asset and federal and state cybersecurity regulation and enforcement. He handles all aspects of mortgage and consumer lending asset origination and servicing, as well as loan purchase and sale transactions, due diligence/third-party review, and loan level reviews. John advises originators, creditors, servicers, investors, and service and technology providers on vendor management and application configuration, licensing, and service agreements, as well as federal and state examinations. He advises on the risk associated with leveraging emerging technologies and the public cloud, and audits third-party service provider technology for content sufficiency and accuracy.

John has specific financial services technology experience with cloud computing, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, dApps, blockchain/DLT, convertible virtual currencies, digital assets including digital securities, digital asset exchanges, payment systems, business intelligence, and analytics.

John has handled matters involving the following government agencies: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); Securities and Exchange Commission/FinHUB, Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, National Credit Union Administration, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Housing and Urban Development, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, Federal Housing Administration, Treasury/FinCEN, and various state regulators.

Representative Matters

  • Support the legal and compliance requirements for the launch of two separate blockchain platforms in the mortgage industry—an enterprise level mortgage origination application and an origination and secondary market financing/asset acquisition application
  • Advised a money transmitter licenses (MTL) and money services business (MSB) client on the launch of USD-pegged stablecoin on a non-U.S. asset exchange
  • Served as U.S. counsel for licensing and regulatory compliance for a consumer lending product collateralized by cryptocurrency
  • Performed third-party review and due diligence file and operational reviews for numerous mortgage lending and financial services companies
  • Oversee the compliance content and testing/certification of integrations of third-party software solutions for numerous mortgage lending, financial services, and technology vendors
  • Provided regulatory monitoring, tracking, and content monitoring for a consumer lending/mortgage document company
  • Provide loan level or portfolio guidance to secondary market investors, underwriters, and/or issuers
  • Assisted in rewrite of an investor's Master Loan Purchase and Sale Agreement to new industry standards

Professional Activities

Structured Finance Association, Co-Chair, RMBS 3.0 TPR Due Diligence, Data and Disclosure Workgroup; QM Workgroup

Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, WSBA Legal Working Group; WSBA Enterprise Working Group

R3, R3 Legal Center of Excellence

Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, former co-chair of KYC/AML Committee

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)

Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association

Recent Publications

"A Return of U.S. Private Label Securitization?" Securitisation & Structured Finance Handbook 2020

"A Closer Look at TRID," DS News, January 17, 2019

"RMBS: Master Loan Purchase Agreements," Capital Markets Intelligence, Fall 2018

"What Should Replace the LIBOR," HousingWire, October/November 2017

"The Non-QM Comeback," The M Report, February 2017

"How TRID Is Stifling the Return of Private Label Securitization," Mortgage Compliance Magazine, April 2016

"Asset-Backed Securitization Third-Party Due Diligence Services: Increased Transparency Via Exchange Act Rule 15Ga-2 and Rule 17g-10," The Journal of Structured Finance, Spring 2015

"Lenders Need to Know: Know Before You Owe," ACUMA Pipeline Magazine, July 2014

"Legal: TPOs Crave Efficiency, Lenders Demand Compliance and Control," The Reverse Review, February 2013

"Dodd-Frank: Putting Reverse Lending on the Road Map," The Reverse Review, July 2011

"Hope This Doesn't Create Any Problems," Mortgage Banking Magazine, January 2011

"Traditional Due Diligence Is Dead," Mortgage Banking Magazine, May 2010

"RESPA and Secondary Market Concerns," AllRegs, 2010

"Reverse Mortgage Lending: Pending Federal Guidance and State Legislation for Proprietary Products," AllRegs, 2010

"Navigating Data Security," Mortgage Technology Magazine, July 2010

"Technology: The Difference Between Thriving and Surviving," Mortgage Technology Newsletter, March 4, 2010

Recent Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "Wire and Cyber Fraud – The Threat Lenders Need to Address," MBA Risk Management QA & Fraud Prevention Forum, September 2019

Panelist, "Cyber, Discovery and Governance," The Masters Conference, New York, July 2019

Panelist, "The Legal Industry's Role in the Future of Blockchain," Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, New York, April 2019

Panelist, "Designing Technological Solutions: Compliance Workflow Automation in the Digital Mortgage Era," MBA Technology Solutions Conference, Dallas, April 2019

Panelist, "Preparing for Alternative Products," ComplianceEase 2019 Risk & Compliance Summit, Fort Worth, Texas, March 2019

Co-presenter, "Overcoming Barriers to eClosings for Lenders," October Research and Dodd Frank Update Webinar, February 2019

Panelist, "Blockchain, Mortgage Finance and Title Insurance," WFG National Title Insurance Co. Executive Roundtable, Santa Fe, New Mexico, February 2019

Speaker, "An Industry Ripe for Digital with Cautions," Wipro Mortgage Innovation Day at Silicon Valley Innovation Center, Cupertino, California, November 2018

Panelist, "Blockchain: What You Need to Know," MBA Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, Los Angeles, May 2018

Panelist, "The Changing Regulatory Landscape for Mortgage Related Assets: Federal and State Level Oversight," Structured Finance Industry Group Annual Conference, Las Vegas, February 2018

Panelist, "CFPB & Mortgage Regulatory Efforts: An Interactive Audience Discussion," ABS East, IMN, September 2017

Panelist, "The Look Back: What Should Change in CFPB Compliance Rules," MBA Regulatory Compliance Conference, September 2017

Moderator/Panelist, "eClosing: Nothing Stopping Us Now," October Research NS3, June 2017

Panelist, "Compliance: High Level for the Secondary Market," MBA Florida Eastern Secondary Conference, February 2017

Community Activities

Old Lyme Parks and Recreation Youth Soccer Coach

University of Miami School of Law (J.D. 2000)

Eastern Connecticut State University (B.A. 1997)

Not admitted to practice in New York

Connecticut