Letter to Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight on Measuring Fair Lending, Increasing Transparency

January 17, 2013

The Brennan Center for Justice, along with the Americans for Financial Reform Foreclosure Working Group, submitted a comment letter to Joseph Smith, independent monitor of the national mortgage settlement, re-asserting that the monitor should use metrics to track whether hardest-hit communities are receiving settlement relief:

"As we have stated, we hope the Monitor’s office will use its authority to add a fair lending metric and generally increase its current demands for data and transparency from the settling mortgage servicers. We are concerned that the current data collection plans, without a metric or additional loan‐level data collection, fail to capture sufficient information about the geography or demographics of borrowers receiving relief under the settlement. Such data is needed to ensure that these mortgage servicers comply with the settlement’s prohibition of discriminatory conduct, as well as the banks’ fair lending obligations under the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. It is also needed to ensure that this agreement has the greatest possible impact on the nation’s ongoing foreclosure crisis – and that relief is fairly provided to communities of color and other hardest‐hit communities who were targeted for subprime and predatory lending and are now reeling from particularly high foreclosure rates." 

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Letter to Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight on Measuring Fair Lending