We’re making progress toward ensuring fair access to credit

We’re releasing our third annual Fair Lending Report, which details the important strides we have taken over the last year to protect consumers from credit discrimination and increase access to credit.

Our Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity continues to identify and tackle discrimination in different financial markets, such as mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. In 2014, our fair lending actions directed institutions to provide approximately $224 million in monetary relief to about 303,000 consumers. We’ve also ordered companies to provide non-monetary relief to consumers.

Here is a look at the key supervision and enforcement priorities last year.

Mortgage lending

We focused on potential discrimination in mortgage lending, including redlining and underwriting disparities. This past year we worked closely with the Department of Justice and a financial institution and its settlement administrator to distribute $35 million to minority borrowers who were harmed by discrimination, in accordance with a 2013 settlement. We also looked at the integrity of mortgage information reported by mortgage lenders covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

Auto lending

Our Supervisory Highlights: Summer 2014 summarized our observations in the area of indirect auto lending and offered additional guidance to assist lenders in reducing fair lending risk and complying with Federal consumer financial law. When lenders have not followed the law, we’ve acted to direct institutions to provide remediation to harmed consumers.

Consumer relief in the credit cards market

Last June, we announced an enforcement action against a credit card company that failed to provide certain debt relief offers to consumers based on national origin, in addition to other violations. As a result, the company provided consumer relief to borrowers excluded from these debt relief offers.

Helping recipients of disability income

Seeking relief for harmed consumers is an important part of our work. We also strive to inform institutions about their responsibilities when serving consumers. Last year we issued a compliance bulletin to help lenders avoid imposing illegal burdens on consumers receiving disability income who apply for mortgages. By helping lenders comply with the law, we help recipients of Social Security disability income receive fair and equal access to credit. We also helped by providing information to consumers about their rights as recipients of Social Security disability income.

These are just a few of the developments you can read about in our third Fair Lending Report. We look forward to continuing to advance our work to ensure a fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory credit market, with equal opportunity for all.

We want to hear from you

We do our job best when we hear from you. You can submit a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-2372. You can also tell us your story, good or bad, about your experience with financial products and services.

Learn more about how you can protect yourself from credit discrimination.

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