Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

March 28, 2017

Tuesday’s Regulatory & Legislative Roundup

By Robert Engelke

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Friday proposed a rule change that would give mortgage lenders more flexibility in collecting information about the ethnicity and race of potential borrowers, potentially making it easier for lenders to comply with a key fair lending law.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are scheduled to send their latest dividend payment to the Department of the Treasury later this month, but if a consortium of community groups and lenders has their way, that money will stay with the government-sponsored enterprises to help rebuild their dwindling capital base. In a letter sent Thursday to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mel Watt, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, a group that includes the Community Home Lenders Association, the Community Mortgage Lenders of America, and the NAACP asked the government to suspend the GSEs’ upcoming dividend payment to avoid the future need for another GSE bailout.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it is reassessing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in order to provide lenders with additional flexibility when collecting consumer ethnicity and race information. The bureau’s proposed amendments are intended to give lenders needed clarity on their obligations under the law, while promoting compliance with rules intended to ensure consumers are treated fairly.
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