Chairman of House Financial Services Committee Requests Information from CFPB on Fair Lending Enforcement Actions, Requests Interview with Director of Fair Lending Office

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capitol hillEarlier this month, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), sent a letter to the CFPB requesting information related to the Bureau’s recent investigations in to alleged fair lending law violations by auto lenders. This information may be helpful in understanding how the Bureau conducts fair lending focused exams and investigations. The Bureau recently announced plans to conduct its first small business lending focused exams within the next year.

Chairman Hensarling’s letter was co-signed by Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.) and requests emails and other records that document how the Bureau built its recent cases against Ally Financial, American Honda Finance Corp and Fifth Third Bancorp. In each of these cases the CFPB alleged that the companies pricing policies resulted in minorities being charged more than white borrowers. In the three actions, the lenders did not admit or deny wrongdoing.

Chairman Hensarling’s letter also asks if the Bureau will make the director of the CFPB’s Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, Patrice Ficklin, available for a transcribed interview. An interview may provide lawmakers additional insight in to the Bureau’s efforts to address allegedly discriminatory pricing policies.

Ms. Ficklin recently spoke at the ABA’s Consumer Financial Services Institute where she explained that she expects the Bureau’s upcoming small business lending focused exams to provide the CFPB with useful information about small business loan underwriting criteria. Ms. Ficklin said that this information will assist the Bureau as it begins its work on the small business lending data collection regulations required by Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank.

Chairman Hensarling’s letter requested a response on Ms. Ficklin’s availability by Oct. 13 and the other requested documents by Oct. 20.

Last modified: October 18, 2015
Patrick SiegfriedPatrick Siegfried is the author of usurylawblog.com and smallbusinessfinancelaw.com. Patrick is a practicing attorney in Bethesda, Maryland. Patrick’s work focuses on issues regarding alternative small business financing. He can be reached at psiegfried@usurylawblog.com

Category: Business Lending, Legal Briefs, Politics

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