Regulation B (Lending Discrimination) Definition
Regulation B is a provision of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act that protects borrowers (or applicants) from discrimination by lenders based on race, gender, religion, national origin, age or marital status.
A Little More on What is Regulation B of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act
Regulation B (12 CFR 1002.01-.16) prohibits discrimination in any aspect of a credit transaction (consumer transaction, business transaction, mortgage, credit line, refinancing, refinancing, applications, credit standards, investigatino procedures, or termination of credit) by providing rules that lenders must follow when collecting and processing credit information from a prospective borrower. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is currently charged with implementing the provisions of regulation B.
The Regulation imputes the following rules:
- No discriminaiton based on race, marital status, nationality, gender, age or religion.
- No discrimination based on recieving income from public assistance.
- Notice of rejection (and explanation for reason and how to request add’l info) within 30 days.
- Spouses also have rights to this information.
- Cannot collect information on spouses except in limited circumstances (community property state, the spouse is a co-applicant, the spouse will use or be liable on the account, or the applicant receives financial support/alimony from the other spouse).
- No retaliation for exercising one’s rights under the Consumer Protection Act.
- Punitive damages of up to $10k for failure to comply.
- In a class action, a lender could be subject to a penalty of $500,000 or 1% of the creditor’s net worth.
A lender may request information about race, marital status, nationality, gender, age or religion for specified legitimate (bona fide) purposes. This may relate to legal capacity to sign a contract, familial obligations affecting one’s ability to make payments.