The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations considered proposed legislation that would bolster the CFPB's enforcement against discrimination by lenders.
At the hearing, the Subcommittee considered H.R. 166, the "Fair Lending for All Act." The bill would (i) establish an Office of Fair Lending Testing within the CFPB charged with testing creditors' compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA"), (ii) expand the scope of ECOA to prohibit discrimination on the basis of an applicant's ZIP code or census tract, and (iii) create criminal penalties for knowing or willful ECOA violations by lenders. The "Fair Lending for All Act" would authorize criminal penalties of up to $50,000 in fines and one year in prison for a single violation, and up to $100,000 in fines and twenty years in prison for a pattern or practice violation.