As of January 2011, more and more banks and other financial institutions have begun having their employees authorize an in depth background and character check pursuant to the Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) for the Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008. This means that current and potential employees are having their history, both professional and criminal, scrutinized to an extent that has yet to be seen in the profession to date. The background search conducted through the SAFE Act is even pulling up convictions that are more than twenty years old!

If any criminal charge pulled up by the SAFE act can be classified as a Breach of Trust Conviction, as defined in Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“FDIA”), the bank employing or hiring an employee can face huge penalties and fines from the FDIC. Needless to say the banks do not want to incur these penalties, and in turn, they fire the individual with the breach of trust conviction. The problem is that many of these individuals that are fired or let go do not actually have to be terminated as a matter of law.

Section 19 of the FDIA is a federal provision, and most crimes that fall under it’s Breach of Trust umbrella are state convictions. This means that there tends to be a discrepancy in legal definitions between the state and the federal legislation. Instead of taking the time to determine if each individual can in fact bypass this Section 19, the banks just let these individuals go and tell them to seek their own personal legal counsel to determine the issue.

Higbee & Associates has helped clients all over the US.  Call us if you need help.

The law firm of Higbee & Associates has been able to help individuals that have been let go by the banks because of Section 19 of the FDIA. There are two ways to bypass this Section 19 and regain your job. The first way is to qualify under the de minimis criteria that is set forth in Section 19. To do this, you must satisfy four elements that are set fourth by Section 19. If you do not qualify under the de minimis criteria, you can still petition to the FDIC for a bypass order of Section 19. Both of these will allow a bank to rehire, or continue to employ you, without facing large penalties and fines. Call today for a free consultation to see if you qualify, and get your job back.


  1. How long does it take to complete an appeal?
    Typically, it is taking anywhere from 5 to 12 months to complete the entire process. This is because the petition must first go to the proper regional FDIC office, where they must approve it before it can go on the the FDIC headquarters in Washington DC for final approval.
  2. What is the typical cost?
    There are two stages to this process so the cost is broken down into two payments. We typically charge $3,000 to assemble the petition, send it off, and deal with the regional FDIC office. If approved at the regional FDIC office, the petition then has to go to the FDIC headquarters office in DC and additional documents are needed. This requires a second charge of $2,000. This includes all filing fees, costs, and postage.The only way these numbers will change is if your case requires special attention due to exigent circumstances or if your petition is denied at either level and you would like to appeal the FDIC ruling.
  3. What are the chances of success?The chances of success vary greatly on a case to case basis. The older the case is and the less severe the case or cases are, the better the chances of success.

If you are interested in obtaining a Section 19 wavier, we would be glad to represent you.   Higbee & Associates represents clients all over the US.   The fee for this service is typically $5,000.  Interest free payment plans are available.  We can start work on the case for a little as $750.

Read about some of our recent successes with FDIC waiver approvals.