WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a blog post Dec. 16 by Patrice Ficklin of the fair lending department that details the key areas her team will focus on in 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,” Ficklin said in the post. “Our work so far has resulted in more than $400 million in payments and credits to more than 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.”
According to Ficklin, the fair lending department will focus on redlining, mortgage student loan servicing and small business lending. The agency will continue to heavily analyze lending business tactics to ensure companies do not avoid lending to minority neighborhoods. Additionally, Ficklin’s group will attempt to determine whether some borrowers behind on payments are having issues seeking a solution with their servicers due to race or ethnicity.
As for small businesses, Congress expressed concern that female-owned and minority-owned businesses face discrimination when applying for credit. The CFPB will look into the matter.
“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,” Ficklin said.