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Overview

Local and national consumer financial services companies and financial institutions trust Marci to guide them through the complexities of compliance and litigation.

Marci’s entire legal career has been devoted to counseling providers of consumer financial services, including installment loan companies, motor vehicle finance companies, banks, credit unions, online lenders and short-term lenders throughout the country. She develops proactive compliance policies, procedures and strategies, consults on complex compliance questions, negotiates before state and federal regulatory agencies, and represents clients in individual and class claims 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

Clients trust Marci’s deep industry insight as a frequent speaker, author and member of key financial services trade organizations and associations. Clients know she will ask the right questions and offer practical advice in order to streamline issues. Marci enjoys helping 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, Marci negotiates, mitigates interruptions to business and implements best practices for the future. She also steps in during what can feel like the crisis of litigation. She knows success is the goal of every business, and she finds it rewarding to help companies find that path.


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Benchmark Litigation, 40 & Under Hot List, 2019-2020
  • In Business Madison, Professional of the Week, 2018
  • Wisconsin Law Journal, Up and Coming Lawyer, 2017

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, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • American Financial Services Association, Counsel to the Law Committee and Member of State Government Affairs Committee
  • American Bar Association
    • 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
  • Wisconsin Financial Services Association, Counsel
  • Conference on Consumer Finance Law (CCFL) Governing Committee
  • Wisconsin Credit Union League
  • Missouri Installment Lenders Association
  • State Bar 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.

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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.

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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).
Alerts | April 24, 2019
Creditors' Liability Under WCA Limited by Wisconsin Supreme Court

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently delivered a welcome victory for creditors under the Wisconsin Consumer Act (WCA), limiting creditors’ liability for a failure to comply with the WCA’s procedural requirements, in a case, Security Finance v. Kirsch, argued by Husch Blackwell.

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
Webinar | April 30, 2019
Buzzing Issues in Student Finance

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Speaking Engagements | June 2018
Speaker, "Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Field." Ford Motor Credit Legal Office

Marci Kawski spoke on "Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Field."

Speaking Engagements | May 2018
Speaker, "Technology Disruptors: Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and Blockchain." Wisconsin Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Marci Kawski presented a Short Course entitled “Technology Disruptors: Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and Blockchain.

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 | 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.

News Releases | December 10, 2018
Husch Blackwell Elects 25 to Partnership
Media Mentions | October 09, 2018
InBusiness Madison: Marci Kawski, Husch Blackwell

Marci Kawski is InBusiness Madison's "Professional of the Week."

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.

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