A banking bill currently in Congress, which has been lauded as making only minor changes in banking regulations to help small banks, is actually part of a distressing pattern within the Trump administration to make it easier for businesses, especially in the financial sector, to discriminate against minorities, Sam Fulwood reported for ThinkProgress.
The bill, which opponents have nicknamed the “Bank Lobbyists Act,” would exempt nearly 85% of the nation’s banks and credit unions from reporting mortgage lending data, which in turn would cripple the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) from being able to effectively monitor housing and financial discrimination.
“HMDA has been has been used effectively by the banking industry, regulators, academics, journalists and fair housing advocacy groups to document instances of housing discrimination. This [if passed into law] dramatically weakens efforts to combat discriminatory lending that may be occurring in the housing market.” noted Greg D. Squires, a professor of sociology and public policy and public administration at George Washington University.
This is just part of a disturbing trend on behalf of the Trump administration to derail protections for racial minorities within the financial and housing sector, as Hannah Levintova’s February 2018 Mother Jones report documented. From the repeal of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule “banning clauses in financial contracts that required arbitration and prevented class-action lawsuit” to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s announcement that they would delay enforcement of an Obama era regulation requiring local governments to identify racial segregation in housing and develop plans to counteract it, to an announcement made by the CFPB that they planned to strip enforcement powers of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, the agency’s division responsible for protecting minority borrowers against discriminatory lending, we can see that this bill is just a piece of the puzzle when it comes to the rollback of institutional protections for racial minorities.
Sam Fulwood, “’I’m Flabbergasted’: Fair Housing Advocates Decry Senate Bill That Could Allow Banks to Discriminate,” ThinkProgress, March 7, 2018, http://www.thinkprogress.org/fair-housing-activists-decry-senate-bill-they-say-allows-banks-to-racially-discriminate-f1391ae6d79c/
Hannah Levintova, “Trump and Congress Are Making It Easier for Banks and Companies to Rip off Black People,” Mother Jones, February 25, 2018, www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/02/trump-and-congress-are-making-it-easier-for-banks-and-companies-to-rip-off-black-people/.
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