Equal Credit Opportunity Act

News & Analysis as of

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

Eighth Circuit Finds Guarantors Not Afforded Protections under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The application of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to spousal guaranties is a developing area of law, resulting in a number of recent appellate opinions. One opinion from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Hawkins...more

Court Tosses HUD’s Disparate Impact Rule: Is Protection for Lenders from Disparate Impact Claims on the Horizon?

Since the 1970s, courts have routinely held that the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., may remedy housing discrimination proven through use of the disparate impact theory. The doctrine of disparate impact permits a...more

CFPB White Paper on Methodology for Evaluating Alleged Racial Disparities in Lending

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) forbids discrimination by a creditor on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or age. As the CFPB has acknowledged, particularly in the non-mortgage...more

Spouse-Guarantor Rule: A Split Between Federal Circuit Courts

When a closely-held entity applies for a loan, the financial institution usually requires the entity’s owner(s) to guaranty the loan. If the owner is married, the financial institution may also require the owner(s) spouse(s)...more

North Carolina Supreme Court Upholds Enforceability of Waiver of ECOA Claim

Last month, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued an important opinion for lenders in this state. The opinion reversed the North Carolina Court of Appeals’ decision in RL REGI N.C., LLC v. Lighthouse Cove, LLC, which found...more

Are You Covered When the CFPB Comes Calling? Protecting Insurance Coverage for CFPB Investigation Defense and Settlement Costs

Receiving a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Civil Investigative Demand or Proposed Action, Response Request (PARR) letter is never good news. However, that news can become significantly worse if you discover, to...more

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act – a Sword and a Shield?

The year was 1974 and, on the heels of the civil rights movement, was a time when the country maintained its heightened awareness of equality and discrimination. This was the year that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)...more

Community Banking Excellence - Issue 3, 2014

In This Issue: - Another Perspective: Lyn Hayth is the President and CEO of the Bank of Botetourt. Lyn has been a banker for more than 30 years.... - From the Editor: A welcome message from our...more

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s Safe Harbor for Assignees

In a previous post, we considered whether guarantors are considered to be “applicants” under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (the “ECOA”), and today, we will consider whether assignees who acquire debt would be subject to...more

Eighth Circuit Opens Circuit Split on the Scope of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) makes it unlawful for any creditor “to discriminate against any applicant, with respect to any aspect of a credit transaction . . . on the basis of . . . marital status.” The statute...more

CFPB Offers More Details On Plans To Supervise Auto Finance Market

On September 17, the CFPB released new information about its plans to supervise and enforce auto finance companies’ compliance with consumer financial laws, including fair lending laws. As it indicated it would earlier this...more

Disparate impact cases against HUD: Illinois federal court issues decision; update on D.C. case

Because of their potential impact on the CFPB’s conclusion that the ECOA and Regulation B encompass disparate impact claims, we have been following two insurance industry lawsuits involving a challenge to HUD’s Federal...more

N.C. Supreme Court Issues Significant Ruling On Commercial Forbearance Agreements and Spousal Guaranties

On August 20, 2014, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion giving great weight to properly-drafted forbearance agreements in a commercial loan and guaranty context. RL REGI N.C., LLC v. Lighthouse Cove, LLC, No....more

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