We have previously blogged about the CFPB’s laser-like focus on the fair lending practices of banks and non-banks purchasing auto finance consumer contracts from auto dealers. See here, here, here, here, and here.
In many of our posts, we have been very critical of the Bureau’s deployment of the disparate impact theory for identifying violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In a letter to Richard Cordray dated May 28, 2013, 13 Democratic Members of the House Committee on Financial Services have implied that they might share these concerns. They have requested that the CFPB provide them with the following information by June 7:
“…any and all background information about the origination of and investigation into alleged practices within the auto lending industry. We also would like to learn more about the allegations stemming from these investigations and the methodology the CFPB has adopted to determine whether fair lending violations exist. Specifically, we would like to know the method the Bureau is using to identify different groups of consumers, the factors it is holding constant to ensure its findings of pricing differentials are attributable to a consumer’s background, and the numerical threshold at which the Bureau determines that disparate impact is present. Further, we would like to learn more about the compliance expectations contained in recent guidance the CFPB issued to indirect auto lenders on dealer compensation policies.”
I very much look forward to reading Mr. Cordray’s response.