Michael R. Pfeifer

Michael R. Pfeifer

Managing Partner
Location:
Orange, California
Phone:
714-786-8157
Fax:
714-703-9303
Email:

Michael R. Pfeifer, Esq. is General Counsel of the California Mortgage Bankers Association (“California MBA”) and is the managing partner of Pfeifer & de la Mora, LLP, a mortgage banking compliance and litigation firm based in Orange County, CA.  Mr. Pfeifer has over 40 years of experience in representing mortgage lenders, investors, servicers, brokers and other industry participants in the following areas: Real Estate and Consumer Financial Services Litigation (including defense of regulatory examination and enforcement proceedings, lender liability and “UDAAP” lawsuits, “wrongful foreclosure,” and other loan servicing-related litigation); Financial Fraud Recovery and Repurchase Disputes; Lien Priority and Title Insurance Coverage Litigation; Officers’ and Directors’ Liability and Professional Errors and Omissions Litigation; Creditor Representation in Bankruptcy; Consumer Credit, Regulatory Compliance, Business, Corporate, and Unfair Competition Litigation. 

Mr. Pfeifer has been ranked "AV-Preeminent" for legal ability and ethical standards under the Martindale-Hubbell peer-review rating system for over 30 years. Mr. Pfeifer was a member of the Board of Directors of the California Mortgage Bankers Association for 9 years before becoming its General Counsel and, in addition to his work with the California MBA, is also active in the Legal Issues, Regulatory Compliance, and Loan Administration Committees of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (“MBA”), and the Consumer Financial Services Committee of the American Bar Association.  From 1999 through 2002 he was the Chair of the MBA’s Subcommittee on Fraud and Ethics, and from 2003 through 2014 the Chair of the Mortgage Quality Assurance and Compliance Committee of the California Mortgage Bankers Association.

Areas of Practice

  • Real Estate and Consumer Financial Services Litigation
  • Financial Fraud Recovery and Repurchase Disputes;
  • Title and Title Insurance Coverage Litigation
  • Officers’ and Directors’ Liability and Professional Errors and Omissions Litigation
  • Creditor Representation in Bankruptcy
  • Consumer Credit, Regulatory Compliance, Business, Corporate, and Unfair Competition Litigation

Litigation Percentage

  • 80% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1976
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1977
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1980
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1980
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1995
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1995

Education

  • Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York
    • Juris Doctorate - 1975
    • Honors: Specialization in International Legal Affairs
    • Honors: Recipient, Nathan Rothstein Prize
    • Law Journal: Managing Editor, International Law Journal, 1974 - 1975
  • Claremont Men's College, Claremont, California
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude - 1972
  • London School of Economics, London, England - 1971

Published Works

  • Dodd-Frank’s UDAAPs: Have We Lost Our Way? Mortgage Compliance Magazine, December 2013, pp. 18-26
  • “Eminent Domain Is Not the Solution,” California Mortgage Bankers Association Legal News, Fall 2012
  • “Homeowner Bill of Rights Threatens Industry & Recovery,” California Mortgage Bankers Association Legal News, Summer, 2012.
  • “Predatory Lending,” Editor and Contributing Author of Course Materials for “Campus MBA” course on predatory lending for Certified Quality Assurance Professional designation (2006)
  • “Net Branching: The Key to Success or the Path to Ruin?” Mortgage Matters Magazine, November/December, 2004
  • “Mortgage Fraud: Are You Part Of The Solution?” Mortgage Matters Magazine, July/August, 2004
  • “New Duties For Protection of Customer Records,” Mortgage Matters Magazine, March/April, 2003
  • “Inflated Appraisals: Should Brokers Really Care?” Mortgage Matters Magazine, 2003
  • "Combating Fraud and Unethical Practices in Real Estate Transactions, (Book) Second Edition: A Practice and Training Guide,” Editor and Contributing Author, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, 2002
  • “New Amendments to California’s Identity Theft and Credit Reporting Laws,” Mortgage Matters Magazine, November/December 2002
  • “California’s New Covered Loan Law (Predatory Lending),” Mortgage Matters Magazine, July/August, 2002
  • “The Duties of Officers and Directors in Troubled Companies,” American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Practice Section, Spring 2002 Newsletter, Professionals, Officers and Directors Liability Committee
  • "Predator Or Prey: Perspectives on the Evolution of Legal Risk in 21st Century Mortgage Lending,” Mortgage Banking Magazine, September 2000
  • “Legal Perspectives on Disclosure Issues for CMBS Investors” (Chapter 19) Handbook of Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities, Edited by Frank J. Fabozzi and David P. Jacob (1997)
  • "Legal Fiction: Misapplication of Class Action Remedies to Mortgage Banking Regulations," Mortgage Banking Magazine, November, 1996
  • "Legal Effects of Securitization of Loan Servicing," Mortgage Finance, March/April, 1996
  • "Sharing Secrets: Emerging Legal Risks in the Handling of Non-Public Mortgage Servicing Information," Mortgage Banking Magazine, December 1995
  • "A Legal Safety Net: Strategies and Defenses to Loan Repurchase Obligations," Mortgage Banking Magazine, June 1995
  • "Are Your Documents Standard?" Servicing Management Magazine, February, 1995
  • "Buying Servicing Rights? Beware!" Servicing Management, December 1994
  • "Applying Fair Lending Principles and Practices to Commercial Loans," Mortgage Finance, October 1994

Classes/Seminars

  • Panelist: “Survey on Important Case Law, Litigation Trends, New Statutes,” American Conference Institute (ACI), 22nd Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement San Diego, CA, January, 2017
  • Conference Chair and Lead Panelist on “Litigation Issues” at Annual California MBA Annual Legislative, Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance Conference , 2008 - 2015
  • Conference Chair and Lead Panelist on “Litigation Issues” at Annual California MBA Annual Legislative, Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance Conference, Lead Panelist, “Litigation Issues, 2016 - Present
  • Panelist: “The Latest on Third Party Risk Management and Vendor Oversight,” American Conference Institute (ACI), Mortgage Servicing Compliance Conference 2016, Washington, D.C., Nov., 2016
  • Panelist: “Emerging Compliance Tort Liability,” MBA Regulatory Compliance Conference, Washington, D.C., September, 2016
  • Panelist: “State Court Litigation,” MBA Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, Denver, May, 2016
  • Panelist: “FDCPA and the FCRA Enforcement Actions and Litigation Trends,” American Conference Institute, Consumer Finance Class Actions and Litigation, Los Angeles, April, 2016
  • Panelist: “CFPB Mortgage Servicing Rules,” State Bar of California, 88th Annual Meeting, Anaheim, October, 2015
  • Panelist: “State Compliance Developments,” MBA Regulatory Compliance Conference, Wash., D.C., September, 2015
  • Panelist: “The Challenges of Operating Under Conflicting and Colliding Federal and State Regulatory Requirements,” American Conference Institute, 4th Bank and Non-Bank Forum on Mortgage Servicing Compliance, Dallas, June, 2015
  • Panelist: “What is the Path for Cost-Effective Vendor Management?” MBA Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, Chicago, May, 2015
  • Panelist: “Heightened CFPB Scrutiny of the Consumer Finance Industry — Keeping Up With the Latest CFPB Regulatory Priorities, Lessons Learned from Recent Enforcement Actions, Preparing for and Responding to CFPB Investigations, and Fighting a Consumer Finance Issue on Two Fronts (Government Investigation and Private Class Action)”, American Conference Institute, Consumer Finance Class Actions and Litigation, Los Angeles, April, 2015
  • Panelist: “Key Problem Areas in the New RESPA/TILA Disclosures (TRID),” Joint Webinar sponsored by California Land Title Association and California MBA (Only 2 panelists, one from each organization), March, 2015 (with 2d follow-up webinar on latest developments in August, 2015)
  • Panelist: “Enforcement and Litigation Risk of TILA (ATR/QM), RESPA (QWR), and UDAAP,” Panel on “State of the Industry on the One-Year Anniversary of the CFPB Mortgage Rules,” American Conference Institute 16th National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement, Los Angeles, January, 2015
  • Panelist: “The Latest on Third-Party Risk Management and Vendor Oversight: Heightened Regulatory Expectations, Third Party Risk, and Compliance,” American Conference Institute, Mortgage Servicing Compliance 2014, Washington, DC, November, 2014
  • Guest Speaker: “Riding the Waves of Change—Vendor Management and the CFPB,” Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association, Laguna Beach, June, 2014
  • Guest Speaker: “Vendor Management and the CFPB,” Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association, Regulatory Summit, Seattle, June, 2014
  • Panelist: “The Other Dodd Frank Mortgage Rules---HOEPA, Escrows, and Appraisals” MBA Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, San Diego, April, 2014
  • Panelist: “Expanding Homeowner Bill of Rights Legislation—the Experience in California and Nevada,” MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference, Orlando, February, 2014
  • Guest Speaker: “Originating Quality Mortgages: Ability-to-Repay and QM,” Special In-House Presentation for Platinum Home Mortgage Corporation, Temecula, CA, January, 2014
  • Guest Speaker: “CFPB Servicing Rules,” OSC 2013 Annual Conference, Kennesaw, GA., October, 2013
  • Panelist: “New CFPB Vendor Management Policies”---“Hot Topics” Panel, MBA Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, Boca Raton, FL., May, 2013
  • Panelist: “California Homeowner Bill of Rights,” Litigation and Enforcement Panel, American Conference Institute 10 National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement, San Francisco, April, 2013
  • Conference Chair and Lead Panelist on “CFPB National Servicing Standards”---California MBA Symposium on Dodd-Frank and the CFPB, San Francisco, March, 2013
  • Panelist: “CFPB Guidance on Third Party Service Providers,” Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association, Palm Springs, CA. May, 2012
  • Panelist: “Recent California Legislative and Regulatory Developments Affecting Mortgage Lending,” National Predictive Methods Conference, Laguna Niguel, CA. June, 2012
  • Lead Panelist: “Compliance in Marketing in the Digital Age,” California Mortgage Bankers Association Sales and Marketing Conference, San Francisco, April, 2012
  • Panelist: “The Litigation Roundup: Assessing the Impact of the Usual (and Not So Usual) Mortgage Fraud Cases, Including the Upswing in Claims Involving Loan Modifications and Foreclosure Rescue Groups,” American Conference Institute’s 7th National Forum on Preventing, Detecting and Resolving Mortgage Fraud, Washington, D.C. , October 24, 2011 - October 25, 2011
  • Panelist: “Responding to Discovery in Robo-Signing’s Aftermath,” CMBA Western States Mortgage Loan Servicing Conference, Las Vegas, NV, August, 2011
  • Moderator/Lead Panelist: “Maximizing Production Without Sacrificing Quality,” National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference, Chicago, IL. April, 2010
  • Panelist: “Mortgage Fraud Schemes That Leave Originators Flat,” Mortgage Fraud Blog Conference (Sponsored by AllRegs), Miami, Florida, November, 2008
  • Panelist: “Regulatory Compliance Update---Litigation,” Mortgage Quality Assurance Conference 2008, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, September, 2008
  • Panelist: “Civil Remedies for Mortgage Fraud, Legal Solutions for Asset Recovery,” Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference 2008, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, May, 2008
  • Moderator and Panelist: “Fighting Fraud in a Changed Environment,” California Association of Mortgage Bankers’ “Western Secondary Marketing Conference, San Francisco, July, 2008
  • Panelist: “Defending Mortgage Loan Repurchase Disputes,” Panel entitled “Repurchase – Liability or Opportunity,” Mortgage Fraud Blog Conference, Las Vegas, NV. November, 2007
  • Conference Chair, Annual Mortgage Quality Assurance Workshop, California Mortgage Bankers Association , 2004 - 2007
  • Sole Panelist: “Rebutting Allegations of Predatory Lending,” National Forum on Consumer Credit Litigation, American Conference Institute, New York, June, 2007
  • Panelist: “Civil Remedies for Mortgage Fraud Recovery,” National Fraud Issues Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association, March, 2007
  • Moderator & Panelist: “Real Estate Fraud in Single Family, Multi-Family, Commercial & Construction Property and Finance” 3-hour seminar for Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Orange County Chapter, February, 2007
  • Moderator & Panelist: “Pre-Funding Fraud Detection Techniques: What Works & What Doesn’t,” 3d National Forum on Preventing, Detecting & Resolving Mortgage Fraud, American Conference Institute, October, 2006
  • Panelist: “Regulatory Compliance Update 2006,” National Quality Assurance Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, September 2006
  • Panelist: “Negotiating and Litigating Loan Repurchase Demands---Hidden Costs of Mortgage Servicing,” Western States Loan Servicing Conference, California Mortgage Bankers Association, August, 2006
  • Moderator & Panelist: “Managing Third Parties In The Mortgage Transaction to Minimize Fraud,” National Fraud Issues Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, May, 2006
  • Moderator & Panelist: “State Regulatory Compliance Update,” National Quality Assurance Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, July, 2003
  • Co-Instructor: “Advanced Mortgage Fraud Seminar” - two-day advanced-level course sponsored by Mortgage Bankers Association of America (Campus MBA) in Mortgage Fraud Detection, Prevention and Recovery, January, 2003
  • Panelist: “New Amendments to California’s Identity Theft and Protection of Personal Information Laws,” California Mortgage Bankers Association’s Annual Legislative/Regulatory Compliance Conference, October, 2002
  • Panelist: “State Regulatory Compliance Update,” (California’s New Predatory Lending Statute), National Quality Assurance Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, September 2002
  • Panelist: "Mortgage Fraud Prevention and Recovery," National Quality Assurance Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, September 2002
  • Panelist: "HUD’s Fraud Prevention & Recovery Program," MBA Quality Assurance Conference, September, 2001
  • Panelist: "Mortgage Fraud Recovery," National Quality Assurance Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, September 2000
  • Moderator & Panelist: "Repurchase Face-Off: Issues in Loan Repurchase Litigation," National Quality Assurance Conference Mortgage Bankers Association of American, September 2000
  • Panelist: "Privacy Rights and Emerging Compliance Concerns," National Regulatory Compliance Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, December 1999
  • Panelist: "Regulatory Compliance Enforcement," National Quality Assurance Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, October 1999
  • Panelist: "Loan Fraud Recovery and the Bankruptcy Code," California Mortgage Bankers Association (CMBA) Regulatory Compliance Conference, January, 1998
  • Speaker: "Recent Developments in Foreclosure Litigation," California Trustees Association, Orange County Chapter, October 1998
  • Co-Panelist: "Case Law/Class Action Developments", CMBA Regulatory Compliance Conference, November, 1996
  • Joint Session Speaker: Outsourcing of Loan Servicing Functions, Annual Legal Issues Conference, Mortgage Bankers Association, March 1996
  • Panelist: "Legal Issues in Commercial Loan Securitization," Real Estate Capital Resources Association, November 1995
  • Speaker: "Criminal and Regulatory Liability: Has Limiting Exposure for Officers and Directors Become The Impossible Dream?" Orange County Bar Association, Corporate Counsel Section, May, 1994
  • "Perspectives on Receivers," Financial Institutions and Services, Orange County Bar Association, May 1993
  • "The Legal Issues of Problem Collections in California," National Business Institute Program, 1992

Honors and Awards

  • "AV" Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • California Mortgage Bankers Association: General Counsel (2011 to Present); Board of Directors (2005 - 2014); Legal Services Committee Chair (2011-Present); Mortgage Quality Assurance Committee Chair (2003-2014)
  • Mortgage Bankers Association of America: Chair, Fraud & Ethics Subcommittee (1999-2002); Member Legal Issues Committee, Regulatory Compliance Committee, and Quality Assurance Committee (Executive Committee 1999-2008)
  • American Bar Association (Banking Law and Consumer Financial Services Committees of Business Law Section; Professionals’ Officers’ and Directors’ Liability Committee, and Insurance Coverage and Title Insurance Litigation Committees of Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section)
  • Orange County Bar Assn. Chair: Financial Practice Section, 1995-96; Member: Commercial Law & Bankruptcy, and Business Litigation Sections
  • State Bar of California Member: Business Law Section; Real Estate Section