The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Patriot Bank (Patriot or Bank) has agreed to pay $1.9 million to resolve allegations that the Bank engaged in a pattern or practice of redlining majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Memphis, Tennessee from 2015 to at least 2020, in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).… 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
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.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it has entered into a settlement with American Bank of Oklahoma (ABOK) to resolve allegations that ABOK engaged in unlawful redlining in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The DOJ opened its investigation of ABOK after receiving a referral from the FDIC.
In its complaint, the DOJ alleged that from 2017 through at least 2021:
- All of ABOK’s branches and loan production offices were located in majority-white neighborhoods;
- For purposes of the CRA, ABOK designated its Tulsa Metropolitan Services Area (MSA) to exclude all of the majority-Black and Hispanic-census tracts in the MSA;
- ABOK did not assign a single loan officer to conduct outreach in majority-Black and Hispanic areas and did not market, advertise, or take steps to generate loans from majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods;
- ABOK failed to implement effective fair lending compliance management systems;
- ABOK significantly underperformed its “peer lenders” in generating home loan applications from majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods;
- ABOK made a smaller percentage of HMDA-reportable residential mortgage loans in majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods compared to its peers; and
- ABOK loan officers and executives sent and received emails via their ABOK email accounts containing racial slurs and racist content.
Park National Bank (“Park National”), based in Ohio, has agreed to pay $9 million to settle allegations brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it engaged in unlawful redlining practices in the Columbus metropolitan area by not providing mortgage lending services to majority-Black and Hispanic communities from 2015 to 2021. … Continue Reading
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