News Release: AFR Statement On House Hearing On Auto Lending Discrimination


May 1, 2018

Carter Dougherty, 251-6700

AFR Statement on House Hearing on Auto Lending Discrimination

Today, the House Financial Services Committee is taking up the serious problem of discrimination in auto lending. There is damning evidence that people of color are charged more at multiple stages of the car buying and owning process, including in a report released today from the National Consumer Law Center.

“A car is fundamentally important to many Americans ability to get to work and to take care of themselves and their families,” said Rion Dennis, advocacy and legislative strategist, at Americans for Financial Reform. “Congress, and the regulators – including both the CFPB and the FTC – need to take forceful action to end the injustice of people of color being charged more to purchase and drive one.”

The last decade has also seen a  a massive increase in subprime auto lending. Americans now owe $1.2 trillion on their vehicles, a 75 percent increase since 2009, according to a report by US PIRG. Much of it has fallen on people with lower credit scores, a group that is particularly vulnerable to predatory practices.

When Richard Cordray was director of the CFPB, the agency pursued lending discrimination cases against major auto lenders, and issued regulatory guidance underlining that lenders must comply with equal credit laws. Unfortunately, the most recent action by Congress on this issue was overturning that guidance in May 2018. The National Auto Dealers Association, which pushed to overturn the guidance,  had spent $12.9 million on campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures in 2017-18 election cycle.