Consumer Finance Insights
January 15, 2015

DOJ Settles with Texas Bank for Discriminatory Lending of Unsecured Loans

On January 15, 2015, the DOJ announced that it had entered a consent order in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to resolve claims against a state-chartered bank based in Texas for allegedly discriminatory loan practices. The matter was referred to the DOJ by the FDIC, which had concluded from an examination that it had reason to believe that the bank had engaged in discriminatory lending practices. The complaint alleges that the bank engaged in a pattern of charging higher interest rates to Hispanic borrowers than non-Hispanic borrowers for unsecured consumer loans. The claim is brought under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. 1691-1691f. As relief, the complaint seeks injunctive relief and restitution to the affected borrowers. The matter was settled on January 15, 2015. The bank agreed to pay $140,000 in compensation and implement policies and procedures designed to avoid discriminatory lending practices, and monitor its loans for potential discriminatory lending practices.