Saturday, December 4, 2021

New US Department of Justice Initiative to Combat Red Line

US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday new measures to tackle discriminatory lending practices.

According to the agency, the Justice Department’s new Anti-Redline Initiative will direct federal resources to investigate fair lending issues. It will build on existing agencies under the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prevent discrimination against lenders on the basis of race, religion, age and gender.

“Today, we are committed to addressing today’s redline challenges by making much more use of our fair lending authorities,” Garland said.

Redlining is the denial of credit or mortgage services to communities and individuals based on race and national origin. Garland described the initiative as the most far-reaching attempt to combat the red line in Justice Department history.

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Garland said the department will work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller to prosecute illegal practices and bring and pursue fair credit lawsuits. “The initiative represents the department’s most aggressive and coordinated effort to eliminate the red line,” he said.

“Discrimination in lending runs counter to the fundamental promises of our economic system,” Garland said. “When people are denied credit simply because of their race or national origin, their ability to participate in the prosperity of our nation is virtually eliminated.”

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