Skip to Main Content

“Outside of cloning Marci Kawski, I am not sure how Husch Blackwell could possibly provide any better service.”

Consumer finance attorney, financial services company

Overview

With extensive industry knowledge, Marci guides consumer finance companies and financial institutions across the country through the complexities of compliance and litigation.

Marci has devoted her career to counseling providers of consumer financial services, including installment loan companies, motor vehicle finance companies, banks, credit unions, online lenders, and short-term lenders. She develops practical, proactive compliance policies, procedures, and strategies; consults on complex compliance questions and helps clients consider risks; and negotiates before state and federal regulatory agencies. With experience addressing a wide variety of state-specific legislation throughout the country, Marci also represents clients in individual and class claims and is knowledgeable about matters regarding:

  • Wisconsin Consumer Act
  • Wisconsin Credit Union Act
  • Wisconsin Marital Property Act
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Regulation V
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and Regulation P
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z
  • Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • Unfair, Deceptive, Abusive Acts and Practices (UDAAP) statutes
  • Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN)
  • Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)
  • Articles 3 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
  • Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA)
  • Missouri Small Loan Act
  • Missouri Retail Credit Sales Act

As leader of the firm’s Consumer Financial Services practice group, Marci works with a talented team who are always ready to tackle any client matter. She knows the industry backwards and forwards, staying abreast of regulator activity and changes in the law so that clients can focus on their business, confident that she’s on top of any legal updates. Marci serves as a frequent speaker, author and member of key financial services trade organizations and associations.

Marci’s passion for her practice stems from her love of solving complex problems: she thrives on studying the minute details of consumer finance legislation and has a gift for marrying that detail to the bigger picture of a client’s business needs. Clients value her extensive knowledge of their industry, often remarking that she stands out among outside counsel for her understanding of the business implications of finer points of law in each jurisdiction.

Clients also appreciate her business-minded nature: Marci’s goal is to help consumer financial services providers establish policies and procedures that meet and exceed regulations while still allowing their operations to prosper. When issues are flagged by regulatory agencies, she aims to mitigate interruptions to business and implement best practices for the future. She knows success is the goal of every business, and she finds it rewarding to help companies find that path.

“Outside of cloning Marci Kawski, I am not sure how Husch Blackwell could possibly provide any better service.”

Consumer finance attorney, financial services company

Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Chambers USA, Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance (Compliance), Nationwide, 2024
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Financial services regulation: Consumer finance, Recommended attorney, 2024
  • Benchmark Litigation, 40 & Under Hot List, 2019-2022
  • IFLR1000, Banking (Wisconsin), Highly Regarded, 2022, 2023
  • In Business Madison, Professional of the Week, 2018
  • Wisconsin Law Journal, Up and Coming Lawyer, 2017
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2021

Education

  • J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School
    • cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Political Science and Communication Arts
    • with distinction

Admissions

  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • American Financial Services Association, Counsel to the Emerging Issues Subcommittee of the Law Committee and Member of State Government Affairs Committee
  • American Bar Association
    • Vice Chair, Personal Property Financing Subcommittee of the Consumer Financial Services Committee
    • Former Vice Chair, Electronic Financial Services and Digital Currency Subcommittee of the Consumer Financial Services Committee
    • Former Chair, Young Lawyers Subcommittee of the Consumer Financial Services Committee
    • Business Law Section, Young Lawyers Division
    • Former Young Lawyer Liaison to Truth in Lending Subcommittee
  • American Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors, Legal Advisor
  • Conference on Consumer Finance Law (CCFL) Governing Committee
  • Missouri Installment Lenders Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Financial Services Association, Counsel
  • Wisconsin Credit Union League
  • Wisconsin Judicial Commission (appointed by Supreme Court of Wisconsin)
Featured Case Studies

Wisconsin Supreme Court Limits Creditors' Liability Under WCA

Our creditor client sued for default on loan payment and the defendant borrower brought a counterclaim, alleging that our client failed to send a proper notice, thus violating the notice of right to cure requirement of the Wisconsin Consumer Act (WCA). In this complex case, Marci and the Husch Blackwell team prevailed before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Security Finance v. Brian Kirsch (2019 WI 42),  which concluded that filing suit without proper notice of cure is merely grounds to dismiss the suit without prejudice. The court further held that such a procedural "miscue" does not give rise to liability by the creditor under the WCA's debt collection statute. Because of the research, due diligence and strategic arguments of Marci and other Husch Blackwell attorneys, the court found that our creditor client was entitled to enforce its contractual rights to collect the loan obligation, and that filing suit without proper notice of cure is not harassing collection conduct.

Read more

Oneida Nation Obtains Dismissal of Class Action

A class action alleged that establishments owned by the Oneida Nation violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Marci was on our team, asserting that the plaintiff had no basis to sue based on the doctrine of Indian tribal immunity. The case was dismissed, upheld on appeal and denied certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read more

Court Grants Summary Judgment in Favor of Lender on FCRA Claim

Marci and the Husch Blackwell team defended our client against alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The plaintiff claimed that credit information furnished on a credit report was incorrect based on her completion of a Wisconsin Chapter 128 wage-earner plan and our client failed to conduct a reasonable investigation after receiving notice of this dispute regarding the reporting in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b). Drawing on their knowledge of and experience with both FCRA and Chapter 128, Marci and the Husch Blackwell team developed strategic and innovative arguments to defeat plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on her claim against our client. Based on our arguments, the court not only denied plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment but outright dismissed the case, determining that plaintiff failed to establish a “factual inaccuracy” that could have been discovered through investigation.


Additional Experience

Compliance and Regulation

  • Assisted sales finance company in development of its compliance management system (CMS).
  • Reviewed and revised credit facility documents for traditional consumer finance company to ensure obligations would not impede daily business operations.
  • Advised various consumer finance companies on "gap" between Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
  • Counseled lender on compliance with Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) in community property states and tenancy by entirety of states.
  • Advised bank on compliance with applicable 50-state laws in healthcare financing partnership with fintech provider.
  • Counseled banks on contours of national and state bank preemption pertaining to online loan programs, including rate exportation.
  • Reviewed and revised government-sponsored entity residential mortgage forms for compliance with Wisconsin statutes and regulations.
  • Reviewed and revised residential mortgage forms for Islamic financing entity to ensure compliance with Wisconsin statutes and regulations.
  • Advised bank regarding compliance with adverse action notice requirements under ECOA and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
  • Represented online loan company facing license revocation, negotiating less stringent penalties, and allowing client to operate while implementing corrective action.
  • Counseled lenders regarding precomputed statutes and regulations and advised on refunding unearned interest at time of prepayment or refinancing.
  • Represented major credit union in successfully resolving several potentially significant claims asserted by state regulators. Successfully resolved all issues so it could continue to operate its indirect lending program.
  • Represented credit union in dissolution proceedings before regulators. Communicated with credit union members to dissolve both in compliance with state law and to benefit members.

Other Litigation

  • Obtained dismissal for mortgage service provider alleged to have violated Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Decision was upheld at appeal level. Johnson v. Carrington Mortg. Servs., 638 Fed.Appx. 523 (7th Cir. 2016).
  • Secured victory on appeal on behalf of a lender affirming a dismissal of a consumer's claims on summary judgment in a case challenging the lender's repossession and service of the required notices prior to repossession and appealing an award of sanctions in favor of our client against the opposing lawyer for pursuing a frivolous claim.
Case Studies
SpenDebt Accepted to Northwestern Mutual Black Founder's Accelerator With Pro Bono Legal Assistance From HB Communities for Change

HB Communities for Change helped SpenDebt prepare its application for the prestigious accelerator that granted the startup a $100,000 investment.

Legal Updates | April 06, 2021
Nevertheless, The TCPA Battles Will Persist
Legal Updates | April 02, 2020
Credit Reporting Changes Under the CARES Act
Articles | November 01, 2014
Military Lending Act Proposed Rulemaking
Seminars | November 7, 2019
Insolvency Symposium 2019
Webinar | July 11, 2019
Analyzing the CCPA'S GLBA Exemption
Speaking Engagements | March 2015
Speaker, Wisconsin Credit Union League 2015 Debt Collection Seminar

Marci Kawski spoke on "Compliance with the Wisconsin Consumer Act." 

Speaking Engagements | May 13, 2014
Speaker, WHEDA Homeownership Conference

Marci Kawski spoke on “Mortgage Servicing Rules."

Speaking Engagements | November 2013
Speaker, Wisconsin Credit Union League

Marci Kawski presented a course entitled “Advertising Loans; Contract Basics" during the WCUL's 2013 Compliance Officer School.

Speaking Engagements | September 2013
Speaker, Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association

Marci Kawski presented “Special Rules for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans”" at the WMBA's Dodd-Frank/CFPB Seminar.

Speaking Engagements | Spring 2013
Speaker, American Bar Association Consumer Financial Services Committee

Marci Kawski presented “Escrow Requirements and Force-Placed Insurance Under the New CFPB Mortgage Rules" at the CFCS 2013 Spring Meeting.

Speaking Engagements | April 2013
Speaker, American Bar Association Consumer Financial Services Committee Meeting

Marci Kawski presented “RESPA: Escrow & Force-Placed Insurance."

Speaking Engagements | June 2012
Speaker, National Institute on Consumer Credit Management

Marci Kawski spoke on the “Equal Credit Opportunity Act."

News Releases | April 13, 2023
Husch Blackwell's Amicus Brief Aids in Fourth Circuit Win for Auto Finance Industry

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued a decision confirming that transactions that finance the purchase of a motor vehicle and GAP waiver are exempt from the Military Lending Act (MLA) in an appeal in which Husch Blackwell attorneys Marci Kawski and Lisa Lawless filed an amicus curiae brief for industry trade associations.

News Releases | May 16, 2022
Husch Blackwell Expands D.C. Office, Consumer Financial Services Team

Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that Leslie Sowers has joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as a partner in its Financial Services & Capital Markets industry group.

Media Mentions | September 10, 2021
Credit Union National Association: All about arbitration
News Releases | October 01, 2019
Benchmark Litigation's 2020 Edition Recognizes 33 Husch Blackwell Attorneys

The firm also received Benchmark’s “Highly Recommended” ranking in Missouri and Wisconsin and its “Recommended” ranking in Nebraska.

Outside the Office

Marci devotes most of her free time to her young family.

She and her husband, Clay, are regular runners and participate in trail races several times a year.