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Fair Housing and Fair Lending Policy Manual

Mortgage lenders and third party originators must comply with federal fair housing and fair lending laws that make it illegal to discriminate against creditworthy applicants on a prohibited basis.  Mortgage industry participants may be held liable under the disparate impact theory.  The disparate impact theory holds that policies which seem neutral and without discriminatory intent, may, in fact, be severely detrimental to a protected class or individual.  Disparate treatment occurs when creditors treat applicants overtly different based on a prohibited basis.  The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, implemented under Regulation C, holds lenders and TPOs accountable for compliance with fair lending laws through the reporting of loan data, used to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns and which also helps determine if lenders are serving the housing needs of the communities.


The Fair Housing and Fair Lending policy manual, is designed to aid mortgage lenders and third-party originators in the development of policies integral to your compliance management system called for by the CFPB. This document summarizes fair housing and fair lending regulations and requirements; addresses disparate treatment and disparate impact theories, includes sample consumer notices; and provides simple tools to check for regulatory compliance.


The Fair Housing and Fair Lending Policy Manual features the following benefits:

  • Identifies federal regulations surrounding fair housing and fair lending laws, including ECOA (Reg. B), FHAct, and HMDA – Reg. C
  • Defines key terms associated with each regulation
  • Outlines specific requirements covered in each law
  • Highlights penalties associated with noncompliance
  • Includes an Appendix with short checklists to assist in determining compliance with these regulations

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Maintenance: Receive regular and ongoing industry updates to keep your policy within regulatory requirements.

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Policy Manual
Fair Housing and Fair Lending
Section Title Priority Action
1.2 Goals and Objectives Mandatory Review Include the point of view or culture of your organization in this section, if applicable.
1.3 Required Review Mandatory Review Be sure this accurately reflects your company’s annual policy review process.
2.1 Internal Controls Mandatory Review Include or reference related procedures in this section.
3 Staff and Training Mandatory Review Include the means by which your organization provides and tracks required training.
4.7 Notification of Action Taken Recommended Best Practice Required disclosures are permitted in electronic form. Indicate in this section if your organization provides them electronically.
4.8 Sample Notification Forms Optional Enhancement This section provides sample forms. If your organization uses different forms, you should replace these samples with your forms.
8 Appendix Optional Enhancement Three sample checklists are provided. If your organization uses different forms or methods to assess compliance, include that information here.