The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has entered into an historic Conciliation Agreement (Agreement) with The Appraisal Foundation (TAF), an organization responsible for setting standards and qualifications for real estate appraisers and providing voluntary guidance for appraisers. This Agreement resolves a Secretary-initiated complaint against TAF alleging discriminatory barriers preventing qualified Black people and other persons of color from entering the appraisal profession on the basis of race in violation of the Fair Housing Act.… Continue Reading

On March 28, 2024, four former Walden University students (“Plaintiffs”) filed a proposed settlement both individually and on behalf of a putative class of current and former Walden University (“Walden”) students with the Federal District Court for the District of Maryland to resolve allegations first raised against Walden in a complaint more than two years ago.… Continue Reading

Our special guest is Jeff Sovern, Professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.  In March 2022, the CFPB announced that it had revised its exam manual to instruct its examiners to apply the “unfairness” standard under the Consumer Financial Protection Act to conduct considered to be discriminatory, whether or not it is covered by federal laws that expressly prohibit discrimination. … Continue Reading

After nearly a decade of litigation, Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has approved the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s $6.0 million settlement of class claims of alleged discrimination by the CFPB against 85 Black and Hispanic employees. The class consists of all “minority employees and women who work or worked as Consumer Response Specialists and have been subjected to and harmed by the Bureau’s agency-wide pattern or practice of discrimination and retaliation and discriminatory policies and practices,” according to the complaint.… Continue Reading

On January 9th, Michael Guerrero, Partner in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, presented at a program titled “Has the CFPB Offered Simpler Rules of the Road? Successes and Challenges with the CFPB’s Rulemaking and Non-Rulemaking Efforts During the Biden Administration”.

Panelists discussed the CFPB’s rulemaking and non-rulemaking guidance after Director Rohit Chopra’s June 2022 blog post titled “Rethinking the Approach to Regulations” in which he shared the CFPB’s aspiration to more clearly communicate the CFPB’s regulatory expectations in simple and straight-forward terms.… Continue Reading

The Federal Trade Commission and Wisconsin Attorney General have entered into settlements with a group of auto dealerships, their current and former corporate owners, and their general manager for allegedly engaging in unlawful discrimination in connection with financing offered to customers and for allegedly engaging in deceptive practices in connection with the sale of add-on products. … Continue Reading

The Senate Banking Committee recently held a hearing entitled, “Fairness in Financial Services: Racism and Discrimination in Banking.”  The hearing was held to discuss historical and ongoing discrimination in the financial services industry, and the roles of Congress and regulators in addressing these issues.  The witnesses included: Ms. Lisa Rice, President and CEO, National Fair Housing Alliance; Mr.… Continue Reading

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has filed a motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit filed in September 2022 against the CFPB challenging the CFPB’s recent update to the Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP) section of its examination manual to include discrimination.  The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed in a Texas federal district court, are American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Independent Bankers Association of Texas, Longview Chamber of Commerce, Texas Association of Business, and Texas Bankers Association.… Continue Reading

On September 29, 2022, the Justice Department announced a proposed consent order with Evolve Bank and Trust to resolve allegations of lending discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and national origin in the pricing of its residential mortgage loans from at least 2014 through 2019.

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Evolve Bank maintains mortgage lending offices and provides mortgage lending services in 15 states. … Continue Reading

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, joined by six other trade groups, filed a lawsuit yesterday in a Texas federal district court against the CFPB challenging the CFPB’s recent update to the Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP) section of its examination manual to include discrimination.  The other plaintiffs are American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Independent Bankers Association of Texas, Longview Chamber of Commerce, Texas Association of Business, and Texas Bankers Association. … Continue Reading