On May 6, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a 43-page Fair Lending Report to Congress outlining its work concerning fair lending in 2021.

Highlights from the CFPB’s Fair Lending Report include the following:

1. Fair lending enforcement and supervision: The CFPB’s risk-based prioritization process allowed it to focus on racial and economic inequality as well as “promoting economic recovery related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The CFPB mentions four enforcement actions brought under several federal consumer protection laws to protect consumers fair access to credit. These enforcement actions included Trustmark National Bank, LendUp Loans, LLC, JPay, and Nexus Services. The CFPB also focused its supervision efforts by investigating potential discrimination in student lending, payday lending, credit cards, small business lending, and mortgage lending.

2. Rulemaking and guidance: This section discusses rulemaking and guidance efforts undertaken by the CFPB in 2021, which focused on racial and economic equity and responding to the pandemic. The CFPB “issued an NPRM on Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act (“section 1071”) to collect small business lending data; participated in interagency rulemaking to improve quality control standards for automated valuation models (AVM); and issued a final rule to establish safeguards for mortgage borrowers coming out of COVID-19 related forbearances.” The CFPB also issued guidance by releasing (1) an interpretive rule confirming ECOA’s prohibitions on sexual discrimination extend to sexual orientation and gender identity, (2) a statement concerning how to best serve those who are “limited English proficient,” and (3) bulleting regarding supervision and enforcement priorities about housing insecurity.

3. Stakeholder engagement: The CFPB engaged with external stakeholders who include consumer advocates, civil rights organizations, industry, academia, and other government agencies through various means such as blogs, videos, press releases, speeches, websites, and reports. The CFPB reported on several fair lending issues and participated in 236 stakeholder engagements related to fair lending and access to credit issues in order to keep track of economic and market realities that impact individuals.

4. Amicus program and other litigation: The CFPB discusses its amicus, or “friend-of-the-court,” briefs in significant court cases concerning Federal consumer financial protection laws, including cases involving ECOA.

5. Interagency reporting on ECOA and HMDA: The CFPB highlights its public enforcement actions.

To see the CFPB’s full Fair Lending Report, please visit this link.