CFPB issues 2020 fair lending report

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Ballard Spahr LLP

The CFPB recently issued its annual fair lending report.  The report describes the CFPB’s fair lending activities in supervision and enforcement; guidance and rulemaking; interagency coordination; and outreach and education for 2020.

The report states that the Bureau announced two public fair lending enforcement actions in 2020.  One of those actions represented the CFPB’s first ever redlining complaint against a non-bank mortgage lender and the other action involved allegations of inaccurate HMDA data reporting.  The report also states that the CFPB referred four matters to the DOJ in 2020 involving alleged lending discrimination in violation of the ECOA.  Two referrals involved alleged redlining in mortgage origination based on race and national origin.  One of the other referrals involved alleged discrimination based on receipt of public assistance income in mortgage origination and the second referral involved alleged pricing discrimination in mortgage origination based on race and sex.

In the section of the report on guidance and rulemaking, in addition to HMDA rules and a HMDA interpretive rule issued in 2020, the Bureau discusses its rulemaking to implement Dodd-Frank Section 1071 and its advisory opinion on special purpose credit programs.

The report only covers the CFPB’s fair lending activities under former Director Kraninger.  Under the leadership of Acting Director Uejio, and as expected under the leadership of Director-nominee Chopra, the “new CFPB” has identified fair lending as a priority issue.  In his introductory message to the report, Mr. Uejio states that “it is crucial that the Bureau apply a racial equity lens and find practical ways to make freedom from racial prejudice and pursuit of racial equity a priority in the full breadth of the Bureau’s work.”  He also indicates that the Bureau intends to use “robust enforcement of fair lending laws under the Bureau’s jurisdiction” as part of its efforts “to ensure fair, equitable and nondiscriminatory access to credit.”

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