Challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for pulling back on data collection to protect women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses against discriminatory lending

In partnership with Democracy Forward, the California Reinvestment Coalition filed a lawsuit against Trump’s appointee to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for failing to pursue her statutorily mandated obligation to prevent financial abuse, and protect against unsafe and unfair financial products.

The Trump administration is defying the Dodd-Frank Act by failing to collect and disclose data on lending to women-owned, minority-owned and small businesses.  Dodd-Frank requires the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to collect this data from financial institutions and make it publicly available to facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws to curb lending discrimination. Congress further mandated that the CFPB issue rules to implement this data collection. Yet, in 2018, without any explanation, then-Acting Director Mick Mulvaney unlawfully halted the required rulemaking process and Director Kathy Kraninger has taken no meaningful steps to remedy this failure.

The lack of data frustrates the ability of small businesses and organizations like CRC to detect and address obstacles women-owned, minority-owned and small businesses face to obtaining credit. The CFPB has acknowledged that current data is inadequate to fully understand, let alone remedy, the extent to which discriminatory lending creates credit deserts for small businesses and businesses owned by women and minorities. Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank was designed to fill this gap by requiring financial insitutitions to maintain and disclose data about their actions on loan applications by women-owned, minority-owned and small businesses.

By failing to implement Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, CFPB has unlawfully withheld and unreasonably delayed agency action, violating the Administrative Procedure Act, so we are taking CFPB to court. If this data were available, CRC and its members would be better able to identify and address gaps in credit access for communities that historically have been disadvantaged in lending.

We expect the government to respond later this summer.

Read our press release here.