D.C. Circuit Names Judges for PHH Case

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By Chris Bruce

March 14 — A federal appeals court has named the panel of judges who are scheduled to hear arguments next month as PHH Corp. appeals a major 2015 enforcement order by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a calendar note on its website, March 12 named Judges Karen L. Henderson, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and A. Raymond Randolph to consider arguments scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on April 12 in Courtroom 31.

PHH, a Mount Laurel, N.J.-based mortgage lender, has asked the D.C. Circuit to overturn a June decision by CFPB Director Richard Cordray, who held that the company violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by illegally accepting mortgage reinsurance premiums paid by mortgage insurers to a PHH subsidiary . Cordray ordered PHH to disgorge $109 million.

Among other points, the case is being watched because it could clarify whether the CFPB may bring RESPA-based enforcement actions in its own administrative forum without regard to RESPA's statute of limitation. The CFPB says that under the Dodd-Frank Act, the limitations statute only applies to court actions.

Henderson joined the D.C. Circuit in July 1990 following a four-year tenure as a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, according to biographies on the D.C. Circuit's website.

Kavanaugh was appointed to the D.C. Circuit in May 2006. Immediately prior to his appointment, he served from 2001 to 2003 as associate counsel and later as senior associate counsel to President George W. Bush, and from June 2003 until 2006 as assistant and staff secretary to President Bush.

Randolph was appointed to the D.C. Circuit in July 1990, taking senior status in November 2008. Immediately prior to his appointment, he was a partner with the firm of Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Bruce in Washington at cbruce@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bna.com