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Civil Rights, Equality, and the CFPA

July 6, 2009

President Obama’s proposal to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) isn’t just a great way to protect consumers in general.  It also has the potential to jump start effective enforcement of the nation’s fair lending laws, especially those that concern civil rights violations.

Nine national consumer and civil rights groups, including several AFFIL partners, put out a statement on July 1st praising the administration’s CFPA proposal, which includes giving the new agency authority for enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and for conducting fair lending exams.  The press release points to many of the current inequalities and injustices in the system, including the following:

“What is often lost in the discussion on the financial crisis is the disproportionate impact the crisis has had on communities of color and women.  African-Americans, Latinos, senior citizens and women were targeted by unscrupulous lenders for predatory financial products.  In fact, racial minorities received subprime and high cost mortgages at exceptionally high rates even when they qualified for prime rate mortgages.”

You can read the full statement here.

In short, the administration’s proposed CFPA has the potential to not only protect all consumers, but also to end widespread financial discrimination and bring some much-needed equality to the lending industry.

(Photo: p medved)

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