On October 24, 2023, the OCC, FDIC and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System jointly adopted final amendments to their regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA).  In this episode, which repurposes a webinar, we are joined by guest speaker Kenneth H. Thomas, Ph.D., Founder/CEO of Community Development Fund Advisors.  … Continue Reading

The CFPB and Justice Department filed a joint complaint last week in a Texas federal district court against Colony Ridge Development, LLC and three related entities (collectively, “Colony Ridge”) in which the agencies allege that Colony Ridge engaged in discriminatory targeting of Hispanic consumers with predatory financing and other unlawful conduct. … Continue Reading

On December 8, 2023, oral arguments were held before a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in the CFPB v. Townstone Financial case, in which the CFPB alleges that Townstone Financial, a non-bank mortgage company (Townstone), engaged in redlining in the Chicago area in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).… Continue Reading

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.
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