Editor’s Note: The CFPB was given a copy of this article in advance and asked if it wanted to respond with an article of its own that would be posted at the same time as this one. After considering the opportunity, the agency ultimately declined the offer.
In a press release dated April 18, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) declared that it would “use all available legal avenues, including disparate impact, to pursue lenders whose practices discriminate against consumers.” Shortly thereafter, the CFPB made good on its promise. On Dec. 20, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice and the CFPB announced a settlement with Ally Bank, formerly General Motors Acceptance Corp., or GMAC, requiring the payment of $80 million in consumer redress and $18 million to the bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund for alleged discrimination in connection with discretionary dealer markups. The settlement also articulates a “compliance plan” to which Ally is required to adhere.