CFPB Issues Fair Lending Advisory Opinion

By Staff Writer May 11, 2022

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published an advisory opinion to affirm that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) bars lenders from discriminating against customers after they have received a loan, not just during the application process.

“The CFPB is ramping up its efforts to issue guidance and advisory opinions to assist entities with understanding their obligations under the law,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Today’s advisory opinion and accompanying analysis makes clear that anti-discrimination protections do not vanish once a customer obtains a loan.”

In 2020, the CFPB issued an Advisory Opinion policy. Advisory opinions are one of many types of guidance documents that the agency issues to provide market participants with information about the application of federal consumer financial laws.

The CFPB issued today’s advisory opinion and accompanying analysis to clarify that ECOA protects people from discrimination in all aspects of a credit arrangement. Among other things, the advisory opinion states that ECOA:

  • Continues to protect borrowers after they have applied for and received credit:Lenders are prohibited from discriminating against borrowers with existing credit. For example, ECOA prohibits lenders from lowering the credit limit of certain borrowers’ accounts or subjecting certain borrowers to more aggressive collections practices on a prohibited basis, such as race.
  • Requires lenders to provide “adverse action notices” to borrowers with existing credit:Adverse action notices explain why an unfavorable decision was made against a borrower. Credit applicants and borrowers receive these notices for reasons including that credit was denied, an existing account was terminated, or an account’s terms were unfavorably changed. “Adverse action notices” discourage discrimination, and they help applicants and borrowers learn the reasons for creditors’ decisions.
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Last modified on Wednesday, 11 May 2022 14:20