Category Archives: Fair Lending

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CFPB Releases Small Business Lender Compliance Cost Survey to Aid in Dodd-Frank 1071 Rulemaking

Recently, the CFPB released an online survey designed to collect information from “institutions engaged in small business financing” regarding one-time costs of compliance with Dodd-Frank 1071. Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which we have discussed in detail on this blog, creates robust reporting requirements for lenders engaged in lending to women-owned, minority-owned, and small … Continue Reading

The Rapidly Changing Fair Housing Landscape: HUD Rescinds Obama-Era AFFH Fair Housing Rule

The Trump administration recently announced that it has rescinded Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), an Obama-era regulation intended to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act (FHA). AFFH requires cities and towns to analyze local housing data for discriminatory patterns and submit plans to address those issues in order to continue receiving federal funding. This … Continue Reading

Dodd Frank 1071 Update: CFPB Status Report Sheds Light on Implementation

In January, we discussed the upcoming implementation of Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which amends the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require certain reporting requirements for specific categories of business loans. The implementation of Section 1071, which contains reporting and disclosure requirements that are comparable to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), through an … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Interim Final Rule to Enable COVID-19 Payment Deferral Options

On May 14, 2020, shortly after the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac COVID-19 payment deferral options were announced, we warned mortgage servicers about the legal risks associated with offering payment deferral programs to borrowers impacted by COVID-19. A little over a month later, on June 23, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an … Continue Reading

A Good Day for Lenders: Texas Supreme Court Rules that Lenders Still Entitled to Equitable Subrogation for Non-compliant Home Equity Loans

On April 24, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court upheld a lender’s right to equitable subrogation for non-compliant home equity loans, ruling that lenders who fail to cure within the statutorily mandated 60-day period may recoup funds paid to satisfy prior liens. The court’s opinion in Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Zepeda answered a certified … Continue Reading

What Will COVID-19 Relief Look Like and How Will It Affect Financial Services Companies?

Both parties have recognized the need for significant and immediate relief to assist consumers and small businesses affected by COVID-19. On March 18, 2020, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, released plans for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this point, the plans are merely a high-level list of … Continue Reading

Winter 2020 Supervisory Highlights – CFPB’s Focus on Verbal Loss Mitigation Applications

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the Winter 2020 edition of its Supervisory Highlights report on February 21, 2020. Among other legal violations, the CFPB noted that certain mortgage servicers have recently struggled with the concept of a verbal loss mitigation application. Although the issues described in the report center around assistance offered in … Continue Reading

Ready or Not, Section 1071 is Coming: The Upcoming Implementation of Dodd-Frank’s Women and Minority-Owned and Small Business Reporting Requirements

As part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, Congress enacted Section 1071, which amended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to mandate certain reporting requirements for lenders making business loans. The act aims to “facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws and enable communities, governmental entities, and creditors to identify business and community development needs and opportunities of … Continue Reading

FHA Tasked With Improving Reverse Mortgage Oversight

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published two reports on September 25 identifying several weaknesses in the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) oversight of reverse mortgages made under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program (see GAO-19-702 titled “FHA Needs to Improve Monitoring and Oversight of Loan Outcomes and Servicing”; GAO-19-721T titled “FHA’s Oversight of Loan … Continue Reading

HUD Proposed Rule Demands More Disparate and More Impact to Establish Disparate Impact Liability

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a sweeping proposed rule on August 1 seeking to amend HUD’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard. According to HUD, the proposed rule is designed to better reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community … Continue Reading

Data Modeling Remains Auto Finance Target in CFPB’s Fair Lending Governance

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made it clear that it will continue to target auto finance lenders as one of its top supervisory and enforcement priorities in the Fair Lending Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection , which was released in June 2019.  In addition to adding student loan origination to its watchdog … Continue Reading

Proposed American Bar Association Resolution Could Affect Auto Dealers

The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Civil Rights and Social Justice Section, State and Local Government Law Section, and Commission on Homelessness and Poverty has proposed a resolution affecting automobile dealers that will be considered by the ABA House of Delegates in early August. The resolution is directed squarely at various issues related to vehicle sales and … Continue Reading

United States Senate to Consider Legislation Expanding Fair Housing Protection to LGBTQ Community

A bipartisan measure was introduced in the United States Senate in late April to expand fair housing protections to LGBTQ persons. The Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019, introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), would expressly include “sexual orientation and gender identity” as characteristics protected by the … Continue Reading

CFPB Proposes Reporting and Examination Authority Over Military Lending Act

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on January 17, 2019, asked Congress to grant the bureau clear authority to supervise compliance-related issues for the Military Lending Act. CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger transmitted a legislative proposal to the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Vice President Pence in his capacity as president of the U.S. … Continue Reading

HUD and DOJ Challenge Facebook’s Advertising Platforms under the Fair Housing Act

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has filed an administrative complaint against Facebook alleging discriminatory advertising in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). HUD alleges that housing advertisers can use Facebook’s advertising tools and algorithms to exclude applicants based on protected categories such as race, sex, or national origin. Four days … Continue Reading

Administration Seeks to Up the Bar for Student Loan Forgiveness Based on Fraud

The Trump administration is looking to stiffen the criteria for borrowers to obtain forgiveness of their student loans based on fraud. If enacted, this higher criteria would mark a significant shift for students who seek forgiveness under the established borrower defense claim. According to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education’s “commitment and … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Allows Miami’s Claims under the Fair Housing Act to Move Forward

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a lower court ruling that dismissed discriminatory lending claims against Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., all brought by the City of Miami. The City of Miami alleges in each of the three lawsuits that the companies engaged in a decade of … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Use of Disparate Impact Claims in Fair Lending Enforcement

The US Supreme Court finally weighed in today on whether the disparate impact theory may be used to prove housing discrimination and ruled that such claims are viable under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. This means plaintiffs only need to show the discriminatory effect of a particular business practice without … Continue Reading
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