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Payment Processing


The Federal Trade Commission.  The Department of Justice.  The Attorney Generals of every state where your company does business.  And now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  


All of these regulators are currently targeting the payment processing industry for possible enforcement.  They are conducting investigations into the business practices of Independent Sales Organizations and sales agents.  They have brought enforcement actions against successful payments companies for employing deceptive marketing practices aimed at merchants and for assisting merchants in defrauding consumers.


We employ our industry knowledge and practical regulatory and class action defense experience for the benefit of our our payments industry clients.  


What seemed like a good idea ten years ago is mandatory today - every member of the payment processing industry must have a Compliance Management System in place to prevent fraud and demonstrate compliance with the state and federal laws and regulations that govern the industry.


Our focus - developed from repeatedly defending regulatory enforcement actions and class actions - is to help good companies implement sound compliance systems so they can defend themselves when (not if) they come under scrutiny.  


Our motto is, "It's not what you make but what you keep that counts." Building an exceptional sales force that generates tremendous revenues, only to be put out of business by a regulatory or class action, makes no sense.  


Let us help you build a compliance system that that is truly compliant. 


Most civil enforcement actions start with an Civil Investigative Demand (CID) or a Subpoena Duces Tecum directing the company to respond to a set of questions and provide a set of documents.


How a business responds to a CID or Subpoenas is critical!  We have defended numerous enforcement actions that very likely could have been avoided if the original investigation had been handled differently.  


During the course of an investigation, there are many opportunities to resolve issues before they become problems and to resolve problems before they become company-threatening enforcement actions.  


Our goal is to use our positive relationships with regulators and our extensive experience resolving investigations to help our clients achieve the best results possible. 

Regulatory Enforcement

A regulatory civil enforcement action can be a "worst case scenario" for a company.  


Many cases are ultimately resolved by "inability to pay" settlements as a result of the fact that the cost of defending the action is greater than the assets that are available to the company and its owners.  


In some cases the regulator already has a court-ordered temporary restraining order (TRO) and asset freeze in place before the company has even learned that the action has been filed.


We have defended numerous state and federal enforcement actions, taking care of everything from responding to the complaint, preparing the case for trial and devising strategies to resolve the action on the most favorable terms possible.  


One of the recent trends in class action litigation has been the advent of the merchant class action against ISOs and processors, claiming false and misleading marketing practices during the course of the sale of processing services and equipment leases.  


These cases have been filed in state and federal courts and are often based on laws designed to protect consumers.  However, some states' laws are broad enough that merchants may have viable Consumer Protection Act or Unfair Competition Law claims.  In addition, claims may be based on "Little FTC Acts," prohibitions on nonconsentual telephone recordings and state telemarketing and right to cancel laws.   


We have successfully defended several merchant class actions and have helped companies design compliance procedures and marketing materials to avoid these kinds of claims in the first place.

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