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Kavita Goswamy Shelat

Associate

Kavita Shelat assists financial services providers with a variety of legal and regulatory issues, including front-end compliance audits, after-the-fact remediation and litigation related to federal consumer protection statutes such as ECOA, FCRA, RESPA, TILA, FDCPA, and TCPA.

Featured Videos

Consumer Compliance – How to Prepare for a Fair Lending Compliance Review February 28, 2018
Fair Lending Regulations and Litigation: The Basics February 22, 2017
Trendspotting the CFPB: What's Coming and How Institutions Can Prepare January 27, 2016

Featured Experience

Represented a bank vendor during a two-year FTC investigation into debt collection practices under the FDCPA and UDAAP.

Represent two banks related to remediation steps related to TILA-required disclosures.

Advised broker-dealer on federal and state issues related to investments in marijuana industry.

Professional Biography

Overview

Kavita Shelat comes from a family of bankers and began her career as a consumer banker. In addition to compliance, Ms. Shelat regularly assists clients with residential mortgage litigation, commercial loan litigation, and general litigation.  She also advises banks and investment advisors interested in providing services to marijuana-related businesses. 

Ms. Shelat has first chair trial experience representing bank clients and has obtained full defense verdicts in several matters. She helped to create important case law in the Sixth Circuit on the scope of consumer rights under the federal HAMP loan modification program and the scope of consumer protection statutes like TILA. She also helped to create important case law in Tennessee and Arkansas related to the preclusive effect of bankruptcy actions.

In addition to representing financial services companies, Ms. Shelat has represented a major insurance company with bad faith claims, a biopharmaceutical company in complex contract litigation, broker-dealers in FINRA arbitrations, and is currently defending a class action lawsuit against funeral home directors in Tennessee state court. She has obtained favorable verdicts at trial as well as favorably settled suits prior to trial.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ms. Shelat completed Bank of America's Management Development Program and worked in customer-facing departments like credit, collections, customer service, and telesales before specializing in direct mail marketing. Later she worked as a banker for Wells Fargo and managed Spanish speaking small business and personal banking customers. As an attorney, Ms. Shelat leverages this experience to help solve her clients' issues.

In 2012, Ms. Shelat received the Firm's Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award for the Memphis office for her successful representation of a young woman seeking asylum in the United States on the basis of religious persecution by violent gang members in El Salvador. In 2016, she successfully obtained asylum for a woman and her minor son escaping Honduras after decades of domestic abuse. Also in 2016, she obtained withholding of removal for a woman escaping Guatemala for the same reason.

Representative Matters
  • Successfully defended a dozen residential mortgage cases on appeal to the 6th and 8th Circuits, and Tennessee and Arkansas Courts of Appeal.

  • Currently defending a funeral home in a class action lawsuit in Tennessee state court.

  • Currently representing a broker-dealer in two FINRA arbitration disputes.

  • Represented an indirect auto lender prior to an FDIC examination into compliance with lender placed insurance.

  • Represent an online consumer lender conduct an Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) fair lending audit.

  • Represented a bank vendor during a two-year FTC investigation into debt collection practices under the FDCPA and UDAAP.

  • Represented a bank following an FDIC examination into compliance with Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

  • Represent two banks related to remediation steps related to TILA-required disclosures.

  • Advised broker-dealer on federal and state issues related to investments in marijuana industry.

  • Advised a bank on federal and state issues related to banking services for marijuana businesses.

  • Advised a private investor on operating a marijuana business in Nevada.

  • Served on the litigation teams in seven successful bench trials related to wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract related to mortgage servicing, bad faith denial of insurance claims, and quiet title actions.

  • Represented client in a jury trial related to bad faith denial of insurance claim.

  • Handled three successful immigration asylum hearings.

  • Obtained numerous successful summary judgments in residential mortgage cases in Tennessee and Arkansas federal and state courts.

  • Successfully represented the Community Development Enterprises arm of a national lender (the CDE) as to a failed mixed retail and grocery store project in south Memphis involving a potential foreclosure, the resolution of property tax liens, a Chapter 11 proceeding with a court ordered sale of the project and payment of net proceeds to the CDE and a negotiated settlement of the general contractors claims against the CDE as to the distribution of loan proceeds during construction.

  • Advised a bank on complying with TRID requirements for renewing its portfolio of balloon mortgage loan.

  • Represented a homeowners association in a property dispute concerning a boundary line in a residential neighborhood.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Named a Mid-South Rising Star by Mid-South Super Lawyers (2014 − 2019)
  • Editorial Board MemberTennessee Bar Journal (2012 to present)
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity − 2018 Fellows Program participant
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity − 2017 Pathfinder Program participant
  • Named a Tennessee Supreme Court Attorney for Justice (2017)
Speaking Engagements
  • "Wrap It Up " (December 2017)
  • "CFPB: Surveying the Landscape," CLE presentation, Nashville, Tennessee (December 2015)
  • "The Latest and Greatest from the CFPB - Implications for Community Banks," 2015 ATA Bankers Workshop (August 2015)
  • "The Latest and Greatest from the CFPB," CLE presentation, Memphis, Tennessee (July 2015)

Education

  • University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2010
    • University of Texas Immigration Clinic, 2009 – 2010
    • Travis County District Attorney's office, white collar prosecutions, 2008 – 2009
  • University of California at Berkeley, B.A., 2004, with High Honors

Admissions

  • Tennessee, 2010
  • Western District of Tennessee, 2011
  • Eastern District of Arkansas, 2012
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2014
  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2014

Languages

  • Spanish

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