John Socknat

John D. Socknat

Partner He / Him / His
Washington, DC

John D. Socknat is Practice Co-Leader of Ballard Spahr's Consumer Financial Services Group and Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C., office. John leverages his knowledge and breadth of the business issues affecting the financial services industry and the legal landscape to advise clients on regulatory, compliance, and licensing matters under state and federal law, preparing them for examinations and audits by state and federal regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and defending them in enforcement actions.

John assists clients with designing new products, and with developing compliance programs and implementing and operationalizing new regulations. He also represents clients in connection with loan and servicing rights purchase and sale agreements, servicing and sub-servicing agreements, stock and asset purchase and sale agreements, and joint venture arrangements.


Representative Matters

  • Counsel clients regarding licensing, true lender and other regulatory issues related to bank model lending programs
  • Assist consumer finance companies with licensing, regulatory and compliance obligations related to buy now, pay later and other non-traditional loan products
  • Advise clients regarding structuring, and obtaining required regulatory consents for, investments in regulated entities including mortgage companies, consumer lenders, money service businesses, debt buyers, and others

Professional Highlights

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

District of Columbia Bar Association

Virginia Bar Association 

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Legal 500 US, Finance - financial services: regulatory, 2015-2017, 2019, 2021, 2023; Dispute Resolution - financial services litigation, 2023; Fintech, 2023

Fellow, American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers

Speaking Engagements

Moderator, "CCPA to CPRA - Enhancing Privacy Compliance Systems," RESPRO28, April 8, 2021

"Compliance Super Session," Mortgage Bankers Association's Regulatory Compliance Conference 2019, Washington, D.C., September 24, 2019

"State Examination/Enforcement Trends," MBA's Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference 2019, New Orleans, May 7, 2019

"Exam Resolution Best Practices," 2019 NMLS Annual Conference & Training, Orlando, FL, February 20, 2019 and repeat session February 21, 2019


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



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

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


District of Columbia