Lenders Buckle Down on Lending Fairness Rules

Looking to end gender and other unfair discrimination toward those seeking loans

The NCUA and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now emphasizing a Fair Lending and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data collection in 2013, also stating that credit unions should keep an eye out for future rules that will be coming down the pike in 2014.

There are those who anticipate the anti-discrimination report and compliance could see expansion to applying for auto financing, business loans, as well as credit card loans. The entire maneuver could change the very nature of credit unions lending to members.

The CFPB made an announcement in July that it would be writing up rules during September to amend the HMDA to require more information from lenders. But the rules and regulations would not stop there: “The CFPB expects to begin developing proposed regulations concerning the data to be collected and appropriate format, procedures, information safeguards and privacy protections for information compiled and reported under HMDA,” the regulator said when it announced its rule making agenda earlier this year.

The CFPB noted that it may consider additional revisions to the regulations to accomplish the needs of the HMDA.

CUNA Mutual Director of Regulatory Compliance Bill Klewin said that the CFPB and other agencies have been taking active roles in the fair lending cases. He noted they utilized data to determine disparate impacts of basic lending practices utilized.

Klewin also noted that agencies have turned to disparate impact tests based on obvious discriminatory acts, such as refusing women based on gender. “There’s this inherent, insidious way of discriminating against people that’s really hidden and hard to find, but it’s still there,” Klewin said.

Klewin did note that the credit union field of membership because many unions to product HMDA stats that often are defining statistical outliers. When lenders are branded with an outlier title, there is almost always a review by authorities.

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