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Cleveland, OH

Robert W. Savoie

Member, McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC
Business Regulation & Regulated Industries

ABOUT

Robert Savoie helps financial technology companies (FinTechs) and other financial institutions attain and maintain regulatory compliance with the ever-changing laws and rules governing consumer financial services so they can avoid pitfalls and expand operations. Robert has built a nationally recognized reputation among clients and peers alike for his deep knowledge and skillful representation of companies in the FinTech space. Indeed, before age 40, Robert achieved the considerable honor of being Chambers band-ranked in two practice areas nationwide (FinTech Legal: Payments & Lending and Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance Compliance) — making him one of only 5 U.S. lawyers national recognized in both areas. Much like his clients who practice in an emerging, rapidly evolving industry, Robert’s practice has grown and adapted to thrive in this innovative environment.

Robert’s end goal is to have any regulatory authorities, or heaven forbid, a court of law, who examine his clients’ operations walk away with a firm belief that his clients are good companies doing their best to do right by their customers. Robert takes a unique approach to combine sophisticated business structuring, cutting-edge policies and procedures, and agile business rules animated by a sense of fairness that help his clients align with both the spirit and the letter of applicable laws.

Robert’s clients operate across the country and include financial technology companies and other start-ups, existing and emerging cryptocurrency exchanges, insurance technology (InsurTech) companies, as well as large mortgage lenders and servicers, marketplace lenders, automotive and personal property finance companies, small loan companies, national and state banks, and businesses engaged in merchant cash advance and factoring.

Robert has deep experience in helping companies expand and grow their business across the United States. When discussing business plans with his clients – who frequently become friends – Robert encourages them to look beyond one year down the road to three and five years out. He advises them of the obstacles they’ll likely encounter and the measures they can take now to ease their burdens in the future.

Whether the discussion involves corporate structuring, financial considerations, licensing issues, consultations with regulatory agencies regarding innovative products (like the deployment of artificial intelligence and machine learning in ongoing operations), the general regulatory outlook, or instituting a strategic multi-year plan to execute a painless Initial Public Offering (IPO) – Robert has done it many times and brings that knowledge to bear for each client. In this respect, he holds a unique perspective that goes far beyond black letter compliance with financial services laws, and acts as a fellow stakeholder in his client’s operations.

In advising these organizations on the particulars of state and federal lending, licensing and debt collection laws, Robert helps them navigate the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), Military Lending Act (MLA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and equivalent state laws. He represents them in federal and state examinations, investigations and enforcement actions on these issues.

Robert frequently speaks on consumer financial services compliance topics, including FinTech issues, licensing, legislation and trends, and he regularly publishes updates pertaining to lenders of all types.

Education

  • University of Notre Dame Law School (J.D., 2010)
  • University of Mississippi (B.B.A., Managerial Finance and Banking Finance, 2007, cum laude)

Admissions

  • Ohio
  • Louisiana

Honors

  • The American Lawyer’s / Midwest Trailblazers 2022
  • Chambers / FinTech Legal: Payments & Lending – USA
  • Chambers USA / Nationwide – Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance (Compliance)
  • The Conference on Consumer Finance Law, Member of the Governing Committee
  • Louisiana and Ohio Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” (Banking), 2016–2019
  • New Orleans CityBusiness “Ones to Watch” 2018

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Section of Business Law; Membership Development
    Board Vice-Chair (2020–present); Membership Vice-Chair (2018–2020);
    Member, Marketing Board (2018–2020); Committee on Consumer Financial
    Services; Co-Vice-Chair, Electronic Financial Services and Digital Currency
    Subcommittee (2021–present), Chair, Young Lawyers Subcommittee (2018–
    2020), and Vice-Chair, Young Lawyers Subcommittee (2016–2018); Small-Dollar
    Lending Taskforce Young Lawyer Liaison (2014–2016)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System State Regulatory Registry (NMLS
    SRR), Industry Advisory Council Member; Industry Development
    Working Group Member

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