Christopher J. Willis

Christopher J. Willis

Ballard Spahr LLP

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DOJ Hits First Bank Target in ‘Operation Choke Point’

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lengthy complaint and consent order in a lawsuit against Four Oaks Bank & Trust Company. The DOJ action is the first lawsuit (and settlement) under "Operation Choke...more

1/20/2014 - Banking Sector CashCall DOJ EFTA Fair Lending Payday Loans Payment Processors

DOJ Settles Fair Lending Cases against Mortgage Lenders

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently settled fair lending lawsuits against two mortgage lenders. Both actions involved DOJ attempts to use disparate impact evidence to establish that a lender engaged in a “pattern or...more

11/12/2013 - Discrimination DOJ Fair Lending Mortgages National Origin Discrimination Racial Discrimination

Federal Regulators Issue Statement on Qualified Mortgage Fair Lending Risks

Federal regulators have issued an interagency statement intended to address industry concerns regarding the fair lending risks associated with compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s...more

10/25/2013 - Ability-to-Repay CFPB Fair Lending FDIC Mortgages NCUA Qualified Mortgage Rule

DOJ Settles Fair Lending Case against Auto Dealer

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently settled a fair lending lawsuit against Union Auto Sales, Inc., a California automobile dealer. This means that, once again, a DOJ attempt to use disparate impact evidence to...more

9/24/2013 - Car Dealerships Discrimination Disparate Impact DOJ Fair Lending Settlement

CFPB responds to letter from Democrats requesting auto fair lending information and gets new request from Republicans

As we reported, on May 28, 2013, Democratic members of the House Committee on Financial Services sent a letter to Director Cordray requesting information about the CFPB’s activities related to auto fair lending, including...more

6/27/2013 - Automotive Industry CFPB Fair Lending Richard Cordray

Supreme Court Agrees Again To Decide Critical Disparate Impact Questions under the Fair Housing Act

The question of whether plaintiffs suing under the Fair Housing Act may bring disparate impact claims is back on the U.S. Supreme Court's docket as a result of the Court's decision today to grant certiorari in Mount Holly v....more

6/17/2013 - CFPB Discrimination Disparate Impact ECOA Fair Lending FHA Redevelopment SCOTUS

Auto finance: can we really call disparate impact “discrimination”?

I want to thank Jeff Sovern over at the Public Citizen Consumer Law & Policy Blog for having an interesting back-and-forth with me over the last week about the application of the disparate impact theory of liability to dealer...more

4/1/2013 - Automotive Industry Car Dealerships CFPB Discrimination Disparate Impact ECOA Fair Lending

CFPB Issues Guidance on Indirect Auto Lending ECOA Compliance

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued guidance on fair lending compliance for indirect auto lenders. The guidance targets the practice of “dealer markups.” This practice involves an auto dealer charging the...more

3/22/2013 - Automotive Industry Car Dealerships CFPB Compliance ECOA Fair Lending Financing

The CFPB previews its coming auto finance fair lending enforcement actions

Earlier today, the CFPB released its guidance bulletin with respect to automobile indirect finance fair lending issues. The bulletin’s intent is unmistakably clear from the accompanying press release’s tag line: “CONSUMER...more

3/22/2013 - Automotive Industry Car Dealerships CFPB ECOA Fair Lending Financing

DOJ Settles Another ‘Pattern or Practice’ Fair Lending Case

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently settled a fair lending lawsuit against Texas Champion Bank. This means that, once again, a DOJ attempt to use disparate impact evidence to establish that a lender engaged in a...more

2/21/2013 - Consumer Lenders Discrimination Disparate Impact DOJ ECOA Fair Lending National Origin Pattern or Practice Settlement Uniform Pricing

Settlement of Michigan Lending Discrimination Lawsuit Underscores Regulatory Focus on Equal Access to Credit

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached a settlement with Community Bank of St. Charles, Michigan, in a federal lending discrimination lawsuit filed by DOJ against the bank....more

1/28/2013 - CFPB Discrimination DOJ ECOA Equal Access to Credit Fair Lending FHA Mortgages Settlement

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