The American Banker reported on September 4 that Justice Department and HUD officials signaled again that more redlining and steering cases are under investigation.
“Based on what is on my docket right now, stayed tuned,” said Steven Rosenbaum, chief of housing and civil enforcement at DOJ’s civil rights division, during a HUD-sponsored Fair Housing conference. “There are still lenders who seem to think it is okay to steer minority borrowers to certain loan officers or certain brokers who they know will charge more.” Rosenbaum also noted that redlining cases, an “old nemesis,” are on his docket. The Justice Department is investigating some of these cases alone, but others are being investigated in concert with the CFPB.
Patrice Ficklin, the head of the fair lending office at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, emphasized the value of Fair Housing complaints. She noted that, the CFPB has a complaint database where “we actually take individual stories from consumers,” and asked those at the conference “to tell us the names of . . . lenders because those stories are factored into our choice of which banks and nonbanks we are going to examine.”