Melissa Klimkiewicz

Senior Counsel

Washington, D.C.

Melissa Klimkiewicz is dedicated to providing pragmatic, comprehensive and timely guidance to her consumer financial services industry clients, which primarily include mortgage lenders and servicers.

She frequently assists Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgagees with their program approval efforts, annual recertifications, compliance with and understanding of program rules and self-reporting obligations, audits by the Quality Assurance Division (QAD), inquiries from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and enforcement actions by the Mortgagee Review Board (MRB). Melissa performs similar work related to the Ginnie Mae, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 184, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA Department) and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service loan programs. Her work also includes assisting clients with False Claims Act (FCA)-based risk assessments arising from participation in government lending programs. She represents both mortgage and reverse mortgage/Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) lenders and servicers.

In addition, Melissa’s practice focuses on the mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements under the Flood Disaster Protection Act, which includes regularly advising lenders and servicers on the ins and outs of the federal banking agencies’, FHA’s and the government sponsored enterprises’ (GSE) flood insurance-related regulations and guidance. She also assists clients with satisfying Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulators’ expectations for providing assistance to consumers impacted by presidentially declared disasters.

Melissa frequently counsels clients in matters arising under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), Mortgage Acts and Practices Rule (MAP), the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE) and related state licensing laws, state regulation of real estate brokers and property managers, and a range of other federal and state consumer financial laws impacting lending and servicing.

Melissa has been recognized by The Legal 500 in the Financial Services: Litigation practice area. She is a former Co-Chair (2014-2017) and Co-Vice Chair (2011-2014) of the Housing Finance Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee. She also is an active member of the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

Prior to joining Orrick, Melissa was senior counsel and a former partner at Buckley LLP. Previously, she was an associate at Howrey LLP and was a law clerk at Buckley Kolar LLP while attending law school.

  • Examples of noteworthy matters include:

    • Assisting numerous clients with FHA compliance reviews, self-reporting, filing of Notices of Material Events, filing of Annual Certifications, and responding to audits and enforcement actions, including through meetings with appropriate agency personnel where appropriate
    • Advising issuers on compliance with Ginnie Mae requirement and responding to Ginnie Mae inquiries
    • Developing policies and procedures, and responding to targeted questions, to foster compliance with the mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements within lenders’ and servicers’ lines of business
    • Performing readiness reviews or mock examinations for clients anticipating regulatory examinations, including CFPB examinations
    • Supporting clients during regulatory audits/examinations, such as HUD/FHA audits, CFPB examinations, bank examinations, and state regulator examinations
    • Analyzing state mortgage lending and real estate licensing requirements for providers operating in numerous states, and assisting with obtaining required licenses and change of control approvals
    • Drafting and negotiating advertising services and other agreements with the intent of reducing the counterparties’ RESPA Section 8 risks
    • Reviewing mortgage application and closing disclosures for compliance with federal and state requirements and industry best practices, and recommending revisions as needed
    • Developing a protocol for efficient review of standard and nonstandard mortgage security instruments and notes to determine whether certain default servicing fees could be assessed to a borrower