Bureau shifts focus for 2017 to fair lending issues

Dec. 20, 2016 -- Redlining, mortgage and student loan servicing, and small business lending are among the key areas where CFPB will focus in 2017, according to a recent posting by the bureau.

In its “Fair Lending Priorities in the New Year,” the bureau stated that the lending areas it will be focusing on are part of its overall effort to identify new and emerging fair lending risks, and that it will be monitoring institutions for compliance. Specifically, regarding its three areas of focus, CFPB stated:

  • On redlining. The bureau will continue to evaluate whether lenders have intentionally avoided lending in minority neighborhoods;
  • On mortgage and student loan servicing: CFPB stated it will determine whether some borrowers who are behind on their mortgage or student loan payments may have more difficulty working out a new solution with the servicer because of their race or ethnicity;
  • On small business lending: Since Congress expressed concern that women-owned and minority-owned businesses may experience discrimination when they apply for credit, Congress has required the bureau to take steps to ensure their fair access to credit.

The bureau stated in the posting that in increasing its focus in 2017 to these areas, it is shifting from such areas as auto lending and the credit card market. CFPB stated it is making the shift to the fair lending topics because they “also present substantial risk of credit discrimination for consumers.”

CFPB posting: Fair lending priorities in the New Year