On February 8, 2019, the CFPB reported in the Federal Register that it was issuing its sixth Fair Lending Report to Congress.
Under Dodd-Frank, the CFPB is required to file an annual report to Congress describing the administration of its functions under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), summarizing public enforcement actions taken by other agencies with administrative enforcement responsibilities under ECOA, and providing an assessment of the extent to which compliance with ECOA has been achieved. The law also requires the CFPB to consult with HUD and report annually on the utility of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act’s (HMDA) requirement that covered lenders itemize certain mortgage loan data.
According to the Report, in 2017, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the CFPB reported 11 matters involving discrimination in violation of ECOA to the DOJ. The Report indicated that the CFPB employed a fair lending prioritization process that incorporated, among other things, consumer complaints, tips and leads from advocacy groups, whistleblowers, and government agencies, supervisory and enforcement history, and results from analysis of HMDA and other data. Moreover, the Report indicated that the CFPB used a fair lending supervision program that utilized different reviews to assess banks and nonbanks compliance with ECOA and HMDA that also resulted in a number of other enforcement actions. Additionally, the CFPB reported that it has a number of pending investigations focused on fair lending violations involving redlining, mortgage and student loan servicing, and small business lending.
In regards to HMDA, the CFPB reported to Congress that it published several regulatory and guidance documents related to HMDA and Regulation C, including a final rule amending Regulation C and the HMDA Examiner Transaction Testing Guidelines. The Guidelines are a joint effort led by the CFPB, together with the FDIC, the FRB, the NCUA, and the Officer of the Comptroller of Currency that apply to examination of HMDA data collected beginning in 2018, and reported beginning in 2019 and provide for uniform guidelines across all federal HMDA supervisory agencies. Finally, the CFPB reported that it intends to engage in a rulemaking to reconsider various aspects of HMDA such as the institutional and transactional coverage tests and the rule’s discretionary data points.