On September 4, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) issued a final rule revising its 2013 Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) disparate impact standards (“2013 Rule”) to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., which held that disparate impact claims are cognizable under the FHA. … Continue Reading

Since early June 2020 when cries for racial justice resulted in a period of social unrest in the U.S., federal and state financial institution regulators have taken meaningful, proactive steps to acknowledge financial inequality issues, reach out to traditionally underserved populations to expand access to credit, and further protect consumers from discrimination.… Continue Reading

On July 15, 2020, the CPFB filed a complaint in federal court against Townstone Financial, Inc. (Townstone) representing the first ever redlining complaint against a non-bank mortgage lender. The complaint is brought under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), but not the Fair Housing Act (FHA).… Continue Reading

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently issued a statement announcing that it “has worked with Google to improve Google’s online advertising policies to better align them with requirements of the Fair Housing Act, where applicable.”

Last year, HUD issued a “Charge of Discrimination” against Facebook that charged the company “with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the [provisions of the Fair Housing Act that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin or disability.]” … Continue Reading

Our podcast looks at the proposed changes to HUD’s rule for establishing liability under the FHA for discriminatory practices based on disparate impact even without discriminatory intent.  We discuss the proposal’s history, five-part burden-shifting framework, available defenses (looking closely at those for models used to assess credit risk), and HUD’s likely next steps.… Continue Reading

On October 29, 2019, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing to explore the issue of lending and housing discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community. A recording of the hearing is available here.

Six witnesses offered testimony and responded to questions posed by subcommittee members:

  • Harper Jean Tobin, Director of Policy, National Center for Transgender Equality
  • Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer, SAGE
  • Dr.
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Tomorrow, October 23, the House Committee on Financial Services will hold a hearing entitled “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors.” The scheduled witness will be Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Facebook. There will be a live webcast of the hearing.

As indicated in the Committee Memorandum, Fair Housing is among the topics to be discussed.… Continue Reading

In its first No-Action Letter under the new revised policy, the CFPB addresses a long-standing issue under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act regarding certain payment arrangements between mortgage lenders and housing counseling agencies.  We previously reported on the CFPB issuing its final No-Action Letter policy and other innovation policies.  (The CFPB issued just one No-Action Letter under its policy prior to its revision.)… Continue Reading

The CFPB has finalized its proposed revisions to its Policy to Encourage Trial Disclosure Programs” (TDP Policy) and policy on “no-action” letters (NAL Policy) and has also finalized its proposal to create a new “product sandbox” policy.  In addition, the CFPB has announced the creation of the American Financial Innovation Network (ACFIN) to facilitate coordination between the CFPB, other federal regulators, and state regulators and the CFPB’s issuance of the first NAL under the revised NAL Policy. … Continue Reading

In its proposed disparate impact rule published in today’s Federal Register, HUD sets forth a framework for making (and defending against) claims of disparate impact under the Fair Housing Act.  In this blog post, we take a closer look at a new and unique aspect of the proposed rule: its treatment of mathematical models (like risk-scoring models used in the credit industry).… Continue Reading