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by Sharon Garcia May 23, 2018

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 2155, a bill that scales back the oversight of banks put in place after the 2008 financial crisis and opens the door to increased mortgage fraud, discrimination and unsafe lending products. The legislation now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

Once enacted, S.2155 will roll back vital safeguards in the home lending market that protect vulnerable low-and moderate-income Latinos. The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) helps monitor discriminatory and predatory practices by requiring that lenders provide insightful consumer data including race, ethnicity, gender, and the income of loan applicants. Despite overwhelming evidence that people of color are routinely discriminated against, this bill exempts 85 percent of lenders from these reporting requirements, subjecting consumers to increased risk of being unfairly denied or overcharged for loan products. Without these data, it will be more challenging to combat abuses and discrimination by financial institutions and to enforce our country’s fair lending laws. Congress and the President need to be increasing ways to fight discrimination in lending, not paving the way for it to increase or stay hidden.

Latinos continue to face barriers in the pursuit of upward economic mobility. This bill will impose new difficulties on our communities by making our financial system less safe and more unequal. While we are disappointed that S.2155 will soon become law, NALCAB will continue speaking up and advocating for a more equitable financial system. We encourage our members and others to do the same.

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