The Equal Credit Opportunity Act [ECOA], 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq. prohibits lenders from discriminating in opposition to savings candidates on the groundwork of race, color, religion, countrywide origin, sex, marital status, age, due to the fact an applicant receives profits from a public help program, or due to the fact an applicant has in right belief exercised any proper beneath the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
The Department of Justice may additionally file a lawsuit underneath ECOA the place there is a sample or exercise of discrimination. In instances involving discrimination in domestic personal loan loans or domestic enchancment loans, the Department may additionally file go well with underneath each the Fair Housing Act and ECOA. Individuals who consider that they have been the victims of any unfair deposit transaction involving residential property can also file a criticism with the Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] or may also file their very own lawsuit.
Other federal organizations have ordinary regulatory authority over sure kinds of lenders and they screen lenders for their compliance with ECOA. ECOA requires these groups to refer things to the Justice Department when there is cause to agree with that a creditor is engaged in a sample or exercise of discrimination which violates ECOA. In 1996, upon the suggestion of the General Accounting Office, the Department of Justice furnished practise to the federal financial institution regulatory companies on sample or exercise referrals. That practise described the elements that the Department would think about in figuring out which things it would return to the employer for administrative decision and which it would pursue for plausible litigation.
Each year, the Department archives a document with Congress on its things to do below the statute. Read the Justice Department’s 2020 Annual Report to Congress.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued rules beneath ECOA. These regulations, recognised as Regulation B, furnish the significant and procedural framework for truthful lending.
Because the Department’s authority to prosecute things extends solely to these cases of a sample or exercise of discrimination on a prohibited basis, people who trust that they are the victims of unfair discrimination in a credit score transaction have to contact the fantastic regulatory agency. The companies and the sorts of lenders that they adjust for functions of compliance with ECOA are as follows:
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [CFPB]: Banks, financial savings associations, and credit score unions with whole property of over $10 billion and their affiliates. Also shares enforcement authority with the Federal Trade Commission over personal loan brokers, loan originators, personal loan servicers, lenders providing non-public academic loans, and payday lenders regardless of size.
Comptroller of Currency [OCC]: National banks, Federal financial savings associations and Federal branches/agencies of overseas banks with complete belongings of underneath $10 billion (the phrases “National” or “Federal” or the initials “N.A.” or “F.S.B.” show up in or after the bank’s name).
Federal Reserve Board [FRB]: Financial establishments with whole belongings of below $10 billion that are contributors of the Federal Reserve System, without country wide banks and federal branches/agencies of overseas banks.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation [FDIC]: State chartered banks with complete property of underneath $10 billion that are now not participants of the Federal Reserve System.
National Credit Union Association [NCUA]: Federal savings unions (the phrases “Federal deposit union” show up in the institution’s name).
Federal Trade Commission [FTC]: Retailers, finance companies, lenders that are no longer solely assigned to some other agency.