As discussed in our prior post, the Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a settlement with Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook Inc. (Meta), to resolve allegations that Meta engaged in discriminatory advertising in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). A key part of that settlement was Facebook’s agreement to build a new Variance Reduction System (VRS) to address disparities for race, ethnicity, and sex between the housing advertisers’ targeted audiences and the group of Facebook users to whom Facebook’s internal personalization algorithms actually deliver the ads. … 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

On September 28, 2022, the Department of Justice (”DOJ”) announced a settlement with Westlake Financial Services (“Westlake”), a Los Angeles-based indirect auto finance company specializing in subprime and near-subprime loans, resolving allegations that Westlake failed to fully provide interest rate benefits to eligible servicemembers as required under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”). … Continue Reading

On Friday, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced two developments:  First, the release of a 66-page report, The Role of Law Enforcement in Detecting, Investigating, and Prosecuting Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets (the “Report”), issued under President Biden’s March 9, 2022 Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets. … Continue Reading

On July 29, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a notification letter (the “joint letter”) to “remind” auto lenders and leasing companies of the protections provided to servicemembers and their dependents under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  The joint letter provides a very basic overview and reminder of the vehicle repossession protections, early vehicle lease termination rights, and interest rate cap available to eligible servicemembers under the SCRA.… Continue Reading

The CFPB, FTC, DOJ, and Federal Reserve Board have filed a joint amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit urging the court to reverse a district court ruling that an individual who had already received credit from the defendant and who was not currently applying to the defendant for credit was not an “applicant” for purposes of the ECOA’s adverse action notice requirement.… Continue Reading

On Monday, the CFPB and DOJ announced that they sent joint letters to landlords/property management companies and mortgage servicers regarding the protections given to servicemembers by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Letter to landlords/property management companies.  The letter only addresses SCRA protections for early lease terminations and evictions. … Continue Reading

At an industry fair lending conference last week, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the CFPB, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) outlined fair lending priorities for their agencies.  These represent the first remarks by these regulators following the DOJ’s announcement of its major new “Combatting Redlining Initiative” on October 22, 2021, and it was the topic of each of their presentations. … Continue Reading

The Biden Administration’s prioritization of fair lending as a law enforcement focus took center stage last week with the announcement that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched a new initiative targeting redlining and that the DOJ and CFPB, in cooperation with the OCC, had settled the first lawsuit filed under the Initiative.… Continue Reading

A recent settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and a media conglomerate underscores the importance of implementing robust Telephone Consumer Protection Act compliance measures, including for third-party vendors.  In 2017, a jury found DISH Network LLC liable for its vendors’ violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, as well as several state statutes. … Continue Reading