The Federal Reserve System, through its Consumer Compliance Outlook platform, recently hosted its annual Fair Lending Interagency Webinar.  During the session, a variety of fair lending topics were discussed, including redlining, appraisal bias, and Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs), as well as supervision and enforcement-related updates. Presenters included representatives from the following federal agencies: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Department of Justice (DOJ); Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA); Federal Reserve Board (FRB); National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).… Continue Reading

We first review the origins of mortgage redlining and discuss the concept of reverse redlining and new theories of redlining.  We then look at a wide range of topics including: the application of redlining enforcement to non-banks; the use of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Fair Housing Act to challenge redlining; activity at state level targeting redlining; the types of evidence regulators will look for when examining for redlining or bringing an enforcement action; potential penalties for redlining violations; what steps may be required for remediation of redlining; and how a bank or non-bank can build a compliance program to avoid redlining.… Continue Reading

The Justice Department announced that it has entered into an agreement with Lakeland Bank to settle the DOJ’s claims that Lakeland engaged in unlawful redlining in the Newark, New Jersey metropolitan area.  The DOJ’s lawsuit against Lakeland, filed in a New Jersey federal district court, is part of the DOJ’s nationwide “Combating Redlining Initiative” launched in October 2021. … Continue Reading

Targeted advertising has become an important marketing tool for many providers of consumer financial services.  After discussing the primary screening methods offered to providers for identifying consumers to receive their advertising, we look at claims made in private lawsuits involving the intersection of targeted marketing and anti-discrimination laws and how the courts have responded to such claims, the status of regulatory activity, whether advertisers using targeted marketing are vulnerable to redlining claims, and issues for providers to consider before engaging in targeted marketing.… 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

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Hunt Mortgage, a licensed mortgage banker, to address the DFS’s findings that there was a “demonstrable lack of lending to minorities and in majority-minority neighborhoods in Western and Central New York by Hunt Mortgage.”  … Continue Reading

Mortgage origination and servicing continue to be a CFPB supervisory focus.  We review the CFPB’s findings involving the following areas and discuss the findings’ compliance implications: redlining based on nonbank lenders’ advertising practices, improper consideration of applicants’ public assistance income in determining eligibility for mortgage modifications, and violations of servicing requirements relating to providing periodic statements to certain consumers in bankruptcy, force-placed insurance, escrow accounts, and servicing transfers.… Continue Reading

The CFPB has released the Summer 2020 edition of its Supervisory Highlights.  The report discusses the Bureau’s examinations in the areas of consumer reporting, debt collection, deposits, fair lending, mortgage servicing, and payday lending that were completed between September 2019 and December 2019.

Key findings are described below.

Consumer reporting. … 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

In this podcast, after reviewing what redlining is, we look at which regulators have made it a focus, factors they consider when looking for redlining, whether those factors apply to nonbanks and how nonbanks can assess and reduce risk.  We also discuss emerging theories of digital redlining.

Click here to listen to the podcast.… Continue Reading