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Regulators Plan to Zero in on Fair Lending

commercial-falling-moneyAs 2016 comes to a close, those in the industry are offering their predictions and forward thinking plans for the new year. A recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's fair lending team [1] and the unveiling of a consumer credit trends tool [2] have both helped to identify areas that the Bureau will be zeroing in on come 2017.

“For the past five years, we have worked hard to ensure that consumers are not excluded from or made to pay more for mortgages, auto loans, or credit cards because of their race or ethnicity,” says the report. “Our work so far has resulted in over $400 million in payments and credits to over 500,000 consumers who experienced discrimination, and greater efforts by lenders to monitor their own lending practices for possible discrimination. We are proud of these accomplishments.”

In moving forward, the fair lending team has identified three particular areas they will be centering their focus on–redlining, mortgage and student loan servicing, and small business lending. The Bureau says that in 2017, they will determine whether some borrowers who are behind on their mortgage are having more difficulty coming to a solution with their servicer due to their race or ethnicity.

“Because the Consumer Bureau is responsible for overseeing so many products and so many lenders, we re-prioritize our work from time to time, to make sure that we are focused on the areas of greatest risk to consumers,” adds the report.

In addition to these initiative, the CFPB’s Consumer Credit Trends tool was just unveiled to track originations for mortgages among other consumer lending metrics to forecast potential future risks. Looking forward, the CFPB plans to include other consumer credit products and information on credit applications, delinquency rates, and consumer debt levels.

“Our Consumer Credit Trends tool can chart the state of consumer markets,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “This critical information will help us identify and act on trends that warn of another crisis or that show credit is too constricted.”

With the aid of this tool as well as forward thinking from the Bureau’s various divisions, the CFPB is continuing their goal to “help consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.”

To read the CFPB Fair Lending Team report, click HERE. [1]

To read the Consumer Credit Trends press release, click HERE. [2]