Law & Economics Center

Using Disparate Impact Analysis to Establish Discrimination in Lending

Event Date: Thursday, September 20 to Thursday, September 20, 2012

Location: National Press Club529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor , Washington, DC 20045

Program Description: On April 18, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it will use all available legal avenues to pursue lending discrimination cases, including the use of disparate impact analysis.

Under disparate impact analysis even though a lender’s practices or policies are in compliance with the provisions of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the lender’s policies may be found to have a “discriminatory” effect on a protected class by statistical analysis. This theory permits the government or private litigants to claim discrimination under the FHA and the ECOA without having to show intent to discriminate.

Two panels of experts will explore this timely issue and its ramifications for consumer credit markets. The first panel of experts will focus the status of the law: Is disparate impact analysis a statutory doctrine under the FHA and ECOA or a court generated doctrine that is still to be resolved? What is required to sustain a finding of discrimination under a disparate impact analysis? The second panel of experts will discuss whether or not there may be unintended consequences for consumers and lenders if discrimination is no longer based on intent but a statistical analysis of a lender’s underwriting guidelines.

Program Agenda




For More Information, Contact: Jeff Smith
Coordinator, Henry G. Manne Programs


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