On Friday, January 13, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a lawsuit against a Minnesota bank in which it alleged that the bank violated the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by unlawfully redlining in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan statistical area (“Minneapolis MSA”). The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, claims that from 2010 to at least 2015, the bank purposely avoided serving the credit needs of residents in majority-minority neighborhoods while meeting the credit needs of residents in majority-white neighborhoods. The DOJ is seeking damages for aggrieved persons, civil money penalties, and injunctive relief. The bank has chosen to litigate, rather than settle, as it believes the DOJ’s claim is baseless. Continue Reading Redlining Revelations: DOJ Lawsuit Alleges Discriminatory Practices by Bank
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it is sending warning letters to 44 mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers, stating that the CFPB staff has information that the companies may not be complying with their obligations to report data under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).
The CFPB states in its press release that it “identified the 44 companies by reviewing available bank and nonbank mortgage data,” but it does not provide further details about how the companies were identified.
The warning letters note that failure to comply with HMDA reporting requirements “could result in the imposition of the full range of available remedies, including injunctive relief and civil money penalties.”
The letters are a reminder to all institutions to ensure that they are compliant with HMDA. Several years ago, the CFPB issued consent orders against two institutions for inaccurate HMDA reporting, requiring them to correct and resubmit certain data and to implement effective HMDA compliance management systems. The letters described above may signal that the CFPB plans to step up its HMDA enforcement again.