WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a proposal to amend Equal Credit Opportunity Act regulations to provide additional flexibility for mortgage lenders in the collection of consumer ethnicity and race information. The CFPB believes the proposed amendments will provide greater clarity to lenders regarding their obligations under the law, while promoting compliance with rules intended to ensure consumers are treated fairly.
“This law is a key part of the government’s commitment to root out discrimination,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “This proposal will help industry comply with the law and help protect consumers against illegal discrimination.”
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) is a federal civil rights law that protects against discrimination in the financial marketplace. Regulation B, the CFPB’s rule implementing ECOA, includes restrictions regarding lenders’ ability to ask consumers about their race, color, religion, national origin or sex, except in certain circumstances. These circumstances include required collection of the information for some mortgage applications under Regulation B.