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Fair lending

Hudson City Savings Bank to pay $27 million to increase access to credit in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods it discriminated against


When you shop for a mortgage, you should not have to worry about discrimination. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits lenders from discriminating against applicants on the basis of race or ethnicity. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have filed a complaint alleging that Hudson City Savings Bank violated the ECOA by engaging in unlawful redlining from 2009 to 2013. The complaint alleges that Hudson City redlined by locating its branches and selecting mortgage brokers nearly all outside of majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods, among other actions. In other words, it intentionally discouraged potential borrowers from equal access to credit in majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Maps showing Hudson City’s branch and broker locations, credit assessment areas, and applications can be found here.

The CFPB is working to protect you from unlawful discrimination and to hold companies accountable for their actions. We not only help consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, and consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, we educate and empower consumers to improve their financial lives.

The CFPB and the DOJ are filing a proposed order, which if entered will require Hudson City to:

  • Improve its compliance management system to prevent discrimination in the future,
  • Pay $25 million to subsidize mortgage loans made in the majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods that were redlined,
  • Expand the community it serves under the Community Reinvestment Act to include previously excluded majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods,
  • Create two new branches to serve majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods,
  • Spend $750,000 partnering with community-based organizations that provide assistance in majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods,
  • Spend $1 million on increased advertising and outreach in majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods,
  • Spend $500,000 on providing financial education to residents of majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods, and
  • Pay a $5.5 million penalty.

Today’s order represents the largest redlining settlement in history as measured by direct subsidies provided to affected communities.

Protections against discrimination

Under ECOA, it’s illegal for a creditor to discriminate in any aspect of a credit transaction based on certain characteristics, including race and ethnicity. If you believe a lender has discriminated against you, you can submit a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-2372.

You can learn more about the warning signs of discrimination and what you can do to protect yourself here.

Ally settlement administrator will contact eligible borrowers soon


In December 2013, together with the Department of Justice (DOJ), we ordered Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank to pay $80 million in damages to consumers harmed by Ally’s auto loan pricing policies that resulted in discrimination. We found that Ally had a policy of giving dealers the discretion to increase or “mark up” consumers’ interest rates, and paying dealers for those markups. We found that between April 2011 and December 2013, Ally’s markup policy resulted in African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers paying more for auto loans than similarly situated non-Hispanic white borrowers. Ally agreed to a settlement and is paying a settlement administrator to distribute the $80 million in damages to harmed borrowers. Ally will also refund affected borrowers who it overcharged after December 2013, and Ally has already started paying some of those borrowers.

For Ally auto loans obtained between April 2011 and December 2013, the Ally Settlement Administrator will locate and send checks to affected borrowers who were overcharged. Over the next weeks, the Administrator will mail packages to identified borrowers with instructions for how to participate in the settlement. Borrowers who are African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander and who obtained an auto loan from Ally between April 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 may be eligible for a payment from the Administrator. If you think you are eligible, you should look for a package explaining the specific minimum amount of money that you may be eligible to receive. Your actual payment amount may be greater, depending on how many borrowers participate in the settlement.

How to respond if you receive a package

The packages will tell you what you must do to receive your payment. To get your payment, you should follow those instructions, including returning any required forms. You can return any forms by postage pre-paid mail, fax, or through the Administrator’s website. Just follow the instructions on the form. Be sure to submit any required forms by October 24, 2015. Only those eligible consumers who return required forms by October 24, 2015, will receive their payment.

What to do if you think you are eligible but do not receive a package

If you don’t receive a package in the mail by July 15, 2015, but you think you should receive a payment, you can call the Ally Settlement Administrator to ask about your eligibility. You can also fill out a claim eligibility form and submit it to the administrator by mail, fax, or through the administrator’s website.

Participating in the settlement is free

Watch out for scammers claiming that they will help you for a fee or asking for your personal information in order to get your check. When large numbers of consumers receive settlement money, scammers sometimes pop up. The scammer may charge you a fee or try to steal your personal information. While you are of course free to speak with an attorney, you do not need to hire a lawyer or pay anyone a fee in order to participate in this settlement.

As part of this settlement, the Ally Settlement Administrator, the CFPB, the DOJ, or your local U.S. Attorney’s office may contact you. Ally is paying Heffler Claims Group to serve as the Administrator. You should treat any other contact claiming to be related to this settlement as a scam. Please immediately report any scam to the Administrator at

Still have questions?

If you have any questions, check out the Ally Settlement Administrator’s website or call the Administrator, starting on June 26, 2015, at 1 (844)-271-4780.

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

Un administrador del acuerdo de Ally en breve estará en contacto con prestatarios elegibles


En diciembre de 2013, junto con el Departamento de Justicia (DOJ), ordenamos a Ally Financial Inc. y Ally Bank a pagar $80 millones en daños y perjuicios a los consumidores perjudicados por las políticas de precios de préstamos para vehículo de Ally que dieron lugar a discriminación. Descubrimos que Ally tenía una política de dar a los concesionarios la discreción para aumentar o “elevar los márgenes” de las tasas de interés de los consumidores y pagar a los concesionarios esos márgenes. Encontramos que, entre abril de 2011 y diciembre de 2013, la política de márgenes de Ally dio lugar a que los prestatarios afroamericanos, hispanos, asiáticos e isleños del Pacífico pagaran más por los préstamos para vehículo que los prestatarios blancos no hispanos en situación similar. Ally llegó a un acuerdo y contrató a un administrador de acuerdos para distribuir los $80 millones en daños a los prestatarios perjudicados. Ally también reembolsará a los prestatarios afectados a quienes cobró sobreprecios después de diciembre de 2013, y Ally ya ha comenzado a pagar a algunos de esos prestatarios.

Para préstamos de vehículo de Ally obtenidos entre abril de 2011 y diciembre de 2013, el Administrador del Acuerdo de Ally localizará a los prestatarios afectados que tuvieron sobreprecios y les enviará cheques. Durante las próximas semanas, el administrador enviará por correo paquetes informativos a los prestatarios identificados con instrucciones sobre cómo participar en el acuerdo. Los prestatarios afroamericanos, hispanos, asiáticos o de las islas del Pacífico que obtuvieron un préstamo para vehículo de Ally entre el 1 de abril de 2011 y el 31 de diciembre 2013 pueden ser elegibles para un pago del administrador. Si piensa que usted es elegible, manténgase en alerta para un paquete informativo que explica la cantidad mínima específica de dinero que usted puede ser elegible para recibir. El monto de su pago efectivo puede ser mayor, según el número de prestatarios participando en el acuerdo.

Cómo responder si recibe un paquete

Los paquetes le dirán lo que debe hacer para recibir su pago. Para recibir su pago, debe seguir esas instrucciones, incluido devolver los formularios requeridos. Puede devolver los formularios por correo con porte prepagado, por fax o a través del sitio web del administrador. Simplemente siga las instrucciones del formulario. No olvide enviar los formularios antes del 24 de octubre 2015. Sólo consumidores elegibles que devuelven formularios requeridos antes del 24 de octubre 2015 recibirán sus pagos.

Qué debe hacer si cree que es elegible pero no recibe un paquete

Si no recibe un paquete por correo antes del 15 de julio 2015, pero cree que debería recibir un pago, llame al Administrador del Acuerdo de Ally para preguntar por su elegibilidad. También puede llenar un formulario de elegibilidad para reclamación y enviarlo al administrador por correo, por fax o a través del sitio web del administrador.

La participación en el acuerdo es gratuita

Tenga cuidado con los estafadores que dicen que le ayudarán por una comisión o que le piden información personal con el fin de que pueda recibir su cheque. Cuando un gran número de consumidores recibe dinero de acuerdos es cuando a veces aparecen los estafadores. El estafador le puede pedir dinero o tratar de robar su información personal. Si bien usted está en total libertad de hablar con un abogado, no necesita contratar a un abogado ni pagarle a nadie para poder participar en este acuerdo.

Como parte de este acuerdo, el Administrador del Acuerdo de Ally, el CFPB, el DOJ o la oficina del Fiscal de EE. UU. local pueden ponerse en contacto con usted. Ally ha contratado a Heffler Claims Group para servir de Administrador. Debe tratar como estafa a cualquier otro intento de contacto que afirme estar relacionado con este acuerdo. Por favor, traiga a la atención inmediata del administrador cualquier estafa enviando un email a

¿Tiene más preguntas?

Si tiene preguntas, consulte el sitio web del Administrador del Acuerdo de Ally o empezando el 26 de junio de 2015, puede llamar al Administrador, al 1 (844) 271-4780.

Obtenga más información sobre cómo puede protegerse de la discriminación crediticia.

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.

Ensuring equal treatment for same-sex married couples


On June 26, 2013, in United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. This decision has important consequences for our work.

In order to fully implement this decision, we took steps to clarify how the decision affects the rules that we are responsible for. Recently, Director Cordray issued a memo to staff clarifying that, to the extent permitted by federal law, it is our policy to recognize all lawful marriages valid at the time of the marriage in the jurisdiction where the marriage was celebrated. This aligns our policy with other agencies across the federal government.

This policy applies to all of the laws, regulations, and policies that we administer, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). That means that when it comes to administering, enforcing, or interpreting the laws, regulations, and policies within our jurisdiction, we use and interpret the terms like “spouse,” “marriage,” “married,” “husband,” “wife,” and any other similar terms related to family or marital status to include lawful same-sex marriages and lawfully married same-sex spouses.

To learn more, you can read the memo.

A citation was revised in the linked memo on July 30, 2014.

Our work on fair lending


For many consumers, access to responsible credit remains a challenge. Without fair and equal access to credit, some people may never reach their financial goals. Worse, some consumers may face discrimination in the process.

That’s why we help to make sure that financial institutions are complying with federal consumer financial laws, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). ECOA protects consumers from credit discrimination, and HMDA requires that covered financial institutions collect and disclose certain information about home mortgage loan applications. HMDA disclosures help with identifying discrimination and enforcing the law.

We’ve created, refined, and implemented a process to focus our supervisory work on areas that present higher risk to consumers when it comes to fair lending. Our supervisory work takes us into institutions to analyze data and review policies and practices in order to evaluate compliance with, and identify potential violations of, ECOA and HMDA.

We’ve also carried out some recent enforcement actions for violations of ECOA and/or HMDA against:

Additionally, we’ve released important information about fair lending, which we hope will benefit consumers, advocates, and industry. We introduced our HMDA Database, which allows the public to study trends in the mortgage market across the nation and in their own communities. We also released two fair lending bulletins to help consumers and industry stakeholders recognize fair lending and access to credit risks in the home mortgage and auto lending markets. And, we’ll continue to work with industry and trade representatives, fair lending, civil rights, consumer and community advocates to make sure that consumers know their rights and that lenders know how to comply with the rules.

We’ve made a lot of progress, but there is more work to do. We’re proud to work for America’s consumers, and we do our job best when we hear from you directly. Tell us your story if you simply want to share an experience with us. You can submit a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-2372 if you have a problem with a mortgage, credit card, or other credit product.

You can find out more about our fair lending work by checking out our most recent report to Congress on fair lending.