Equal Credit Opportunity Act

News & Analysis as of

DOJ Settles with Illinois-Based Lender over Allegations of Discriminatory Lending

On May 7, the DOJ announced a consent order with an Illinois-based lender to settle allegations that the state-chartered bank engaged in a pattern of discriminatory lending, violating the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)....more

CFPB Releases its Third Fair Lending Report to Congress

On April 28, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB” or “Bureau”), established in 2010 by The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, issued its third Fair Lending Report (the “Report”)...more

The Inadvertent Error Defense to Violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (the “ECOA”) prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants based on race, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, and age among other things. Penalties for...more

Justice Department’s ECOA report describes joint CFPB activity

The U.S. Department of Justice recently issued the Attorney General’s 2014 Annual Report to Congress Pursuant to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act Amendments of 1976. The report discusses the DOJ’s 2014 ECOA enforcement...more

DOJ Submits 2014 Equal Credit Opportunity Act Annual Report to Congress

On April 13, the DOJ released its 2014 Annual Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) Report highlighting its activities to address credit discrimination. The twenty-page report highlights discrimination lawsuits and settlements...more

Winter 2015 Supervisory Haiku-lights

Spring has sprung, technically speaking, but Old Man Winter is dragging his feet on the way out here on the East Coast. Maybe he was hanging around waiting for the Winter 2015 edition of Supervisory Highlights, which came out...more

Supreme Court to Determine Whether ECOA Allows Spousal Guarantors to Challenge Liability

On March 2, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in Hawkins v. Cmty. Bank of Raymore, 761 F.3d 937 (8th Cir. 2014), cert. granted, No. 14-520, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 1635 (U.S. Mar. 2, 2015)—on appeal from...more

Supreme Court to Hear Case Deciding the Rights of Spousal Loan Guarantors under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The United States Supreme Court will soon hear a case that will determine the rights of spousal guarantors under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), and ultimately whether creditors may require spousal guarantors on...more

CFPB Seeks Comments on Consumer Credit Card Market

On Tuesday, March 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a “Request for Information Regarding Credit Card Market.” It follows the 2009 CARD Act’s requirement that the CFPB conduct a review of the...more

DOJ Reaches Deal In Auto Lending Discrimination Case

Why it matters - In what the government calls its first ever discrimination settlement involving “buy here, pay here” auto financing, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and North Carolina Attorney General reached a deal...more

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Involving Guarantor-Spouse’s Eligibility for ECOA Protection

On March 2, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments to resolve claims as to whether spousal guarantors could assert ECOA as a defense against a bank’s collection efforts requiring them to guarantee their spouse’s...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether ECOA Applies to Loan Guarantors

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) applies to loan guarantors. The case will be argued in the Supreme Court’s term that begins in October 2015....more

An “Applicant” By Any Other Name – The U.S. Supreme Court Jumps in on ECOA and Guarantors

As the Bard’s Juliet famously mused, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” One might similarly wonder at the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision yesterday (March 2, 2015) to grant...more

State AGs and Regulators Step Up UDAAP Enforcement

Dodd-Frank created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and granted that federal agency significant powers to regulate financial institutions. But Dodd-Frank also empowers state regulators to enforce the new...more

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act: Overview of Damages for Violations

As previously discussed on this blog, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (the “ECOA”) prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants based on race, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, and age...more

DOJ and North Carolina AG Settle First-Ever Federal Discrimination Suit Involving Auto Lending

On February 10, the DOJ, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina and the North Carolina AG, announced the settlement of the federal government’s discrimination suit involving two “buy...more

FTC sends ECOA report to CFPB

The FTC recently sent a letter to the CFPB reporting on the FTC’s 2014 activities related to compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B. Although the FTC has authority to enforce the ECOA and Reg B as...more

Regulators Release Guidance on Private Student Loans With Graduated Repayment Terms at Origination

On January 29, the federal financial regulatory agencies, in partnership with the State Liaison Committee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, issued guidance for financial institutions on private...more

Money, Dirt & Steel: 2014-2015 NC Real Property Litigation Update

A snapshot of noteworthy cases from the past year related to lending practices, property rights and construction in North Carolina. Money - Lending: Comprehensive waiver language in loan workout...more

Marriage Equality and The Equal Credit Opportunity Act

On January 1, 2015, United States District Judge Hinkle issued an Order ruling that all Florida counties are to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as of January 6, 2015. The implications of this ruling are...more

The CFPB 2015 Forecast: Continued Cloudiness, Thunderstorms Likely

This will be a busy year at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and that certainly means it will be a busy year for financial institutions as well. In addition to exercising its supervisory and enforcement...more

Deference in Decline: ECOA’s Regulation B and Agency Discretion Might Not Be Broad Enough to Include Spousal Guarantors

For more than 40 years, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (‘‘ECOA’’) has prohibited lenders from discriminating against applicants for credit on various prohibited bases, including marital status. The policy reasons for such...more

CFPB Proposes Regulating Nonbank Auto Finance Companies

On September 16, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued and requested comment on a proposed rule that would, for the first time, subject nonbank auto finance companies to federal regulation and oversight. The...more

Implementing Regulation B Spousal Signature Provisions

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act and its implementing rule, Regulation B, prohibit any creditor from discriminating based on sex or marital status, among other protected statuses. All the federal banking agencies are involved...more

CFPB issues bulletin on consideration of public assistance income in credit decisions

The CFPB has issued a new bulletin (Bulletin 2014-03) that is intended “to remind creditors” of their ECOA/Regulation B obligations with respect to consideration of public assistance income and relevant standards and...more

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