CFPB filed no fair-lending enforcement cases last year

Mortgage

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau did not file any fair-lending enforcement actions in the 2018 fiscal year and did not refer any Equal Credit Opportunity Act violations to the Department of Justice.

In a report to Congress released Tuesday, the agency did not identify any public enforcement actions for fair-lending violations during the fiscal year under former acting Director Mick Mulvaney, now the White House’s acting chief of staff.

The report said the CFPB does have a number of “ongoing fair lending investigations” of financial firms involving a variety of consumer financial products.

In the 2017 fiscal year, the bureau announced two fair-lending enforcement actions and referred two matters to the Justice Department. It did the same in the 2016 fiscal year.

In its report, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger said protecting consumers from discrimination is one of the primary objectives of the Dodd-Frank Act and remains “an objective that the bureau takes very seriously.”

Kraninger wrote in a message at the beginning of the report that the bureau intends to take fair lending “to a new level,” by exploring how financial technology companies can cater to low- and moderate-income consumers.

“Under my leadership, the bureau will continue to vigorously enforce fair lending laws in our jurisdiction, and will stand on guard against unlawful discrimination in credit,” Kraninger wrote. “In addition to that core work, the bureau will continue to explore cutting-edge fair lending issues including how consumer-friendly innovation can increase access to credit to all consumers — and especially unbanked and underbanked consumers and their communities.”

The CFPB continues to oversee compliance with four past fair-lending settlements: against BancorpSouth Bank in 2016 for allegedly denying home loans to African-Americans; Fifth Third Bank in 2015 for auto dealer markups; Honda Finance in 2015 for allegedly overcharging on auto loans; and Provident Funding in 2015 for allegedly overcharging minority borrowers on home loans.

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