On October 24, 2023, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a final rule amending their regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) (the “Final Rule”). The Final Rule marks the first substantial revision to the CRA regulations in nearly thirty years. … Continue Reading
A group of eleven Republican Senators who are members of the Senate Banking Committee have sent a letter to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to urge the CFPB and DOJ to retract the joint statement the agencies issued last month regarding “the potential civil rights implications of a creditor’s consideration of an individual’s immigration status under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).”… Continue Reading
Recently the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a proposed consent order with Ameris Bank to resolve allegations of redlining from 2016 through 2021 in majority Black and Hispanic areas in the Bank’s Jacksonville, Florida assessment area under both the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Fair Housing Act. In conjunction with the announcement of the proposed consent order, Attorney General Merrick Garland provided an update on the DOJ’s Combating Redlining Initiative that was launched in October 2021.… Continue Reading
On October 19, 2023, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that its Combating Redlining Initiative has resulted in over $107 million in relief for communities adversely affected by lending discrimination by mortgage lenders. This comes on the same day DOJ announced its $9 million settlement with Ameris Bank, it’s most recent redlining case.… Continue Reading
On October 24, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued a final rule amending their regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act. Although the final rule is effective April 1, 2024, the compliance date for the majority of the rule’s provisions is January 1, 2026. … Continue Reading
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) is scheduled to host a public hearing on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. The upcoming hearing on appraisal bias will focus on how residential appraisals are developed and reviewed, the process for reconsiderations of value, and processes for conducting appraisals in rural areas.… Continue Reading
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement agreement with Washington Trust Company, of Westerly (WTC) to resolve claims that WTC redlined majority Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Rhode Island.
In its complaint against WTC, DOJ alleged that the following practices were used to discriminate against Black and Hispanic borrowers from 2016 to at least 2021:
- WTC located and maintained all of its Rhode Island branches and loan officers outside of majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods (WTC designated all five counties in Rhode Island as its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) assessment area);
- WTC never had a branch in a majority-Black and Hispanic census tract despite the significant presence of majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods and census tracts throughout Rhode Island;
- WTC did not assign a single mortgage loan officer to conduct outreach, market, advertise, or generate loans from majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods;
- WTC failed to conduct outreach, marketing, and advertising of mortgage services in majority-Black and Hispanic areas;
- WTC received only 2.4% of its mortgage loan applications from residents of, or for properties located in, majority-Black and Hispanic areas in its CRA assessment area, compared to 9.5% for its peer lenders, and on average 46.5% of the applications generated by WTC in those areas were from White applicants, compared to 25% for its peers.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department of Justice have issued a joint statement regarding “the potential civil rights implications of a creditor’s consideration of an individual’s immigration status under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).”
The agencies begin the statement by observing that while ECOA and Regulation B do not expressly prohibit consideration of immigration status, they do prohibit creditors from using immigration status to discriminate on the basis of national origin, race, or any other protected characteristic. … Continue Reading
More than ten years after the filing of the initial complaint challenging the 2013 disparate impact rule (Rule) adopted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Fair Housing Act (Act), the federal district court in Washington, DC granted HUD’s motion for summary judgment. The two plaintiffs that filed the lawsuit are the insurance industry trade associations, the American Insurance Association and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), although ultimately the case was pursued only by NAMIC. … Continue Reading
In May 2022, the CFPB issued Circular 2022-3 addressing Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) adverse action notice requirements in connection with credit decisions based on algorithms. The CFPB is now revisiting the issue in Circular 2023-3.
The recent Circular begins with the following question presented: “When using artificial intelligence or complex credit models, may creditors rely on the checklist of reasons provided in CFPB sample forms for adverse action notices even when those sample reasons do not accurately or specifically identify the reasons for the adverse action?”… Continue Reading