“We have serious concerns about HUD’s final rule creating a standardized approach to assessing Fair Housing Act violations under the so-called disparate impact theory. By relying solely on statistical analysis to show that neutral policies have a disproportionate impact on a protected class and eliminating any demonstration of discriminatory intent or conduct, we believe HUD overreaches the authority Congress bestowed in the Fair Housing Act.
“We fear HUD’s approach could have unintended consequences, compelling financial institutions to shrink their mortgage operations rather than risk costly litigation. This overly aggressive standard is out of line with the stringent underwriting standards required in today’s economic and regulatory environment and threatens the very groups HUD is trying to help.
“The banking industry is committed to a color-blind, discrimination-free lending environment. ABA urges regulators to refocus their fair lending supervision on potential differing treatment of borrowers with similar circumstances and creditworthiness, rather than applying statistical quotas.”
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The American Bankers Association represents banks of all sizes and charters and is the voice for the nation’s $14 trillion banking industry and its two million employees. Learn more at aba.com.