Timing Matters. Stay Ahead with Credit Chronometer.

Economic, market and political events shape the legal landscape and impact loan and credit markets, each time moving us closer or farther away from a cycle's end, a crisis' beginning or the next boom. From the perspective of lawyers and other professionals who have lived through past cycles, the Credit Chronometer™ is an award-winning blog dedicated to analyzing the effects of these events on future performance and participants' legal exposure.

Certain markets warrant special attention due to risky practices, an evolving regulatory environment or dynamic market forces.


Main Markets Covered

Trends in subprime auto lending and related ABS have evoked comparisons to the subprime mortgage market. Where many see a potential risk, others point to significant differences to pre-financial crisis RMBS. To shed light on the issue, the Credit Chronometer has identified historical indicators of performance – within lending practices, securitization practices and the underlying market for the assets backing the pooled loans – and analyzes the market using a disciplined comparative approach.

The Subprime Auto Loan Risk Chronometer provides a quick view of risk in the market based on the indicators of crisis and their prevalence in subprime auto lending and ABS today.

Although fintech – i.e., technology that aims to compete with traditional financial services – is still coming into its own, it has already made a lasting impact on business and consumer finance. Marketplace lending in particular (including peer-to-peer lending) creates the potential for a tech savvy consumer base to outperform traditional lenders. Yet, the future of this industry continues to be shaped by regulatory uncertainty, major legal decisions regarding the “true lender” and “valid when made” concepts, as well as the application of usury laws. Likewise, cryptocurrencies and other digital assets promise to reinvent our financial lives. Yet, these technologies occupy legal grey zones, create new risks, and have yet to face the full force of regulators and lawmakers.

To make sense of it all, Credit Chronometer offers updates and concise legal analysis concerning key regulations, laws and lawsuits impacting all facets of fintech, including marketplace lending, cryptocurrency, digital assets, and all other emerging financial tech.

With the escalating cost of higher education and vocational training, student loans are now the second largest source of household debt in the US behind mortgages. Delinquency rates are high relative to historical levels and to other types of consumer debt. A greater understanding of the issues – the large concentration of smaller loans owed by students that did not graduate or attended for-profit schools is a greater issue than the size of the overall debt level – could lead to both reforms benefiting students and opportunities in education finance. The Credit Chronometer provides insight that helps separate fact from fiction.

Pre-financial crisis subprime RMBS litigation may be entering a new phase, moving on from fraud and repurchase actions brought by investors against sponsors and sellers to new actions by deal participants to recoup litigation losses from one another. The Credit Chronometer identifies litigation trends and the merits of potential claims.

After a long dormancy, subprime RMBS has made a comeback. The Credit Chronometer is on the lookout for history repeating itself and identifies best practices to avoid issues of the past.

Investor evaluation of sustainability and societal impact – often measured by environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors – has the power to shape markets. While still concerned with financial gain, more and more investors are incorporating ideas of social responsibility, sustainability, and ethics into their decisions, whether it be the impact on a company or practice from external forces or a company’s footprint on society and the environment. Given the prominence of environmental concerns in the emerging ESG mindset, Credit Chronometer has expanded the breadth of its coverage of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) to follow broader ESG concerns, including Green ABS, which fund energy conservation projects and use of PACE-style programs to solve societal problems, such as local housing shortages. Credit Chronometer analyzes the issues from the perspective of past turning points, so that you can stay ahead of market shifts.

Growth markets are abundant with opportunity, but legal pitfalls create risks that must be anticipated and managed. For new financial product and lending markets, having regulatory and legal guidance is key to navigating these challenges. As cryptocurrency expands from niche product to the mainstream, as fintech shifts from disruptor to partnerships with major banks, and as cannabis finance requires a comprehensive understanding of often conflicting federal and state laws, Credit Chronometer is here to guide you through these pivotal emerging financial markets with legal and market analysis of rapidly-changing fields.







Joseph Cioffi | Primary Author

Joseph Cioffi is a partner at Davis+Gilbert in New York City where he is Chair of the Insolvency + Finance Practice Group, a multidisciplinary practice spanning corporate, insolvency and litigation. He has a unique perspective afforded by his experience in all stages of credit and market cycles, including in subprime lending investments, operations and litigation. Joseph and his group have been deeply involved in disputes and litigation resulting from the last financial crisis. He has written for or has been quoted by numerous publications, including American Banker, Law360, Asset Securitization Report, The Banking Law Journal, Financial Times, The Journal of Bankruptcy Law, Auto Finance News and WNYC, regarding auto loans, student loans, marketplace lending, subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.




Seiji Newman

Seiji Newman is a partner in the Insolvency + Finance Practice Group of Davis+Gilbert. Seiji's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including disputes relating to the financial services sector, class actions, bankruptcy, residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), and real estate. He practices in both trial and appellate courts, representing a wide spectrum of clients as both plaintiff and defendant.



Massimo Giugliano

Massimo Giugliano is a partner in the Corporate + Transactions and Insolvency + Finance Groups of Davis+Gilbert. Massimo advises financial institutions and service sector businesses in connection with a broad range of insolvency-related matters and credit transactions. In recognition of his achievements, Massimo was selected as a Rising Star by New York Metro Super Lawyers (2016-2019).



The following associates are contributors:

  • Nicole Serratore
  • Andrew Spillane
  • Adam Levy
  • Joel Melendez
  • Christine Devito
  • Nicholas Diefenbacher

Insolvency + Finance Group

Davis+Gilbert’s Insolvency + Finance Practice Group represents clients in a broad range of corporate, insolvency and litigation matters. The group has been actively involved in many of the most notable and highly visible business events in recent years related to the last economic downturn and has vast experience in the area of subprime lending, including the operation of origination platforms, relationships with servicers and defending large-scale asset-backed securities litigation. The broad and diverse experience of their attorneys makes them particularly well-equipped to advise clients in rapidly evolving markets, such as, those for auto loans, student loans, marketplace lending, mortgage loans and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. Additional highlights of the practice include the following:

Litigation: The group regularly prosecutes and defends litigation involving complex financial transactions and instruments and has defended asset-backed securities litigation, including for residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), encompassing fraud and repurchase claims, involving nearly $2 billion in claims.

Bankruptcy: The group guides clients through financially distressed situations and helps formulate and execute creditor enforcement strategies, in particular, in the case of intermediaries facing obligations to third parties. The group has defended nearly $1 billion in fraudulent transfer claims brought by the trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

Corporate: The group also advises on a full range of financing transactions, including secured revolving and term credit facilities, receivable financing arrangements, intercreditor agreements, warehouse lending facilities and loan purchase agreements.

For more information about the Insolvency + Finance Practice Group, click here.


Davis+Gilbert LLP

Davis+Gilbert helped guide the development of the marketing communications ecosystem over the past century. Today, we apply that same see-around-corners vision to real estate, financial services, hospitality, technology and other service sector clients across the country and around the world. And it’s not just about the law; with deep insights into industry issues, our legal strategies work in tandem with business realities to reduce risk and make a real competitive difference. We focus on Advertising + Marketing, Benefits + Compensation, Corporate + Transactions, Insolvency + Finance, Intellectual Property + Media, Labor + Employment, Litigation + Dispute Resolution, Privacy + Data Security, Private Client Services, and Real Estate. Davis+Gilbert is consistently ranked in Chambers USA and The Legal 500 United States. Learn more at dglaw.com.