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Valerie Hletko

An accomplished and commercially-minded litigator, Valerie Hletko’s practice has a particular emphasis on financial services regulation and enforcement. She counsels a wide range of financial services industry participants as they navigate dynamic and increasingly interrelated state, federal, and global legal and regulatory challenges.

Valerie represents clients in complex civil litigation, as well as in investigations and administrative enforcement actions initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and state bank regulatory agencies and state Attorneys General. She has assisted clients with pre-enforcement matters relating to a variety of consumer financial products and services, including responding to Proposed Action and Request for Response (PARR) letters, Notice and Opportunity to Respond and Advise (NORA) letters, and managing issues relating to self-disclosure.

Valerie also counsels clients in connection with regulatory examinations and governance and risk management matters implicated by consumer financial laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and related state laws, the Military Lending Act (MLA), and prohibitions on unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices in Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act: Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP) and Section 1036 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act: Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP). She further advises clients on a variety of issues that touch the financial services industry, including arbitration and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Valerie frequently speaks and publishes on a range of subjects of interest to financial institutions, including fintech, fair and responsible banking practices, specialty finance, and regulatory enforcement trends.

In a decision that will likely have ramifications for lenders and borrowers in the state, the Michigan Supreme Court recently issued a decision clarifying that lenders cannot rely on a “usury savings clause” to circumvent Michigan’s usury statute.  But it also held that a lender’s effort to enforce a usurious loan, by itself, is not enough to trigger criminal liability.Continue Reading Michigan Supreme Court Refuses to Enforce “Usury Savings Clause”