The U.S. Department of Justice recently issued the Attorney General’s 2014 Annual Report to Congress Pursuant to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act Amendments of 1976. The report discusses the DOJ’s 2014 ECOA enforcement activities as well as what the report describes as the DOJ’s “lending work” under the Fair Housing Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
The report indicates that at the end of 2014, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division was conducting 10 joint fair lending investigations with the CFPB resulting from CFPB referrals and that in five of those investigations, the parties were engaged in pre-suit negotiations. According to the report, the types of alleged discrimination resulting in the 10 investigations was as follows: five involve race/national origin, one involves national origin, three involve race/national origin/sex and one involves marital status/age/sex/source of income. The report also indicates that the DOJ returned five referrals to the CFPB.
The report includes a general description of the subject matter of the 25 DOJ investigations that were open at the end of 2014 but does not specify which of the 25 are among the 10 joint investigations with the CFPB. It states that there are ongoing investigations regarding “race and national origin discrimination in the pricing of vehicle secured loans” and ongoing investigations regarding “race, national origin, gender or age discrimination in the pricing of indirect automobile and motorcycle loans,” and that the latter includes investigations regarding “discretionary interest rate markups.”