Equal Credit Opportunity Act


Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

Legislation in the United States passed in 1974, outlawing discrimination against race, sex, national origin, age, welfare status, and other identifiers in the extension of credit. That is, the Act forbids banks and other financial institutions from using these factors when it decides whether or not to make a loan or open a line of credit for a client. Under the Act, the creditor can only consider the individual's creditworthiness. It also requires potential creditors to approve or deny applications for credits within 30 days and to explain why upon request. It is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) is designed to ensure that all qualified people have access to credit.

It forbids lenders from rejecting credit applicants on the basis of race, gender, marital status, age, or national origin and requires lenders to consider public assistance in the same light as other forms of income.

The act says that creditors must approve or reject your application within 30 days if you've filed a complete application, and, if you ask within 60 days, must provide an explanation for turning you down. The ECOA requires creditors to provide specific reasons for rejecting you and forbids indefinite or vague explanations.

If you feel you're being discriminated against and the lender does not respond to your complaints, you can contact the attorney general of your state or the government agency that oversees the creditor. By law, the creditor must provide that information. If you can't get the information from the creditor, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

A federal law that ensures all consumers and businesses are given an equal chance to obtain credit, assuming they meet legitimate and legal underwriting guidelines. Enforcement is by a number of different agencies depending on the identity of the credit grantor.The FTC may bring an enforcement action against retail stores, utilities, and small loan companies,to name a few.The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency would be responsible for bank violations. No agency will intervene in private disputes, but it will monitor the patterns of violation and could make a decision to take action. Private individuals who believe they have been victims of a violation may bring private or class-action lawsuits against offenders. Among other things, it is illegal to

• Discourage an applicant because of sex, marital status, age, race, or national origin, or because they receive public assistance

• Ask an applicant to reveal his or her sex, race, national origin, or religion, except that it

may ask that this information be voluntarily revealed in connection with a mortgage loan in order to compile statistics to assist the government in making sure discrimination does not take place

• Inquire about an applicant's plans to have or raise children

• Ask if an applicant receives alimony or child support, unless the applicant intends to rely on that income in order to qualify for the extension of credit

• Consider sex, marital status, race, national origin, or religion in making a decision to grant credit

• Consider whether you have a phone listing in your own name, although a creditor may consider whether you have a phone or not

• Consider the race of people in the neighborhood where the applicant wants to buy, refinance, or improve a house with borrowed funds

• Refuse to consider public assistance income the same as any other income

• Refuse to consider alimony or child support the same as any other income

It is not illegal to consider military status, citizenship, or sexual orientation, although specific state
laws may extend protections to such groups. For more information, visit the FTC Web site at
www.ftc.gov.

References in periodicals archive ?
The FTC administers a wide variety of other consumer protection laws, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Pay-Per-Call Rule, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Cigarette Labeling Act and the Truth-In-Lending Act.
The guidance also discusses how various other statutes, the Truth in Lending Act, Truth in Savings Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act could shape overdraft protection program.
In the late 1990s, the civil rights office was reopened with Vernon Parker as its head, and Congress passed a law extending the statute of limitations for complaints filed under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
The Federal Reserve Board on February 19, 2003, approved a final rule amending Regulation B, which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).
The service contains the full-- text of such federal laws and FRB regulations as Truth--in--Savings Act, Truth--in--Lending Act, Consumer Leasing Act, Fair Hosuing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Community Reinvestment Act, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Electronic Transfer Act and Regulations DD, Z, M, Q, B, BB, C and E.
Many Crestar associates are required to take courses in federal Regulation CC, the Funds Availability Act, and Regulation B, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
The "Policy Statement" is based upon the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the two statutes that specifically proscribe discrimination in lending.
NRF has fought the income requirement as an example of the federal regulatory process gone awry, and believes the rules could undermine the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, a 1974 law giving women the right to obtain credit in their own name.
PenFed does business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and is a member of NAFCU.
Then, in 2001, the Federal Reserve Board adopted interim final rules establishing uniform standards for the electronic delivery of the disclosures mandated by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B), the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E), the Consumer Leasing Act (Regulation M), the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the Truth in Savings Act (Regulation DD).
22 when they released guidance that clarified concerns over qualified mortgages and the resulting liability under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Full browser ?