A group of five federal bank regulators have issued a joint statement assuring lenders that tighter mortgage standards set to take effect next year will not result in government allegations of lending bias. The Oct. 22 statement indicated that as long as companies adhere to the government-mandated standards, they will not be opening themselves up to scrutiny over lending patterns to minorities such as Hispanics and African Americans.
However, the Department of Housing and Urban Development -- which is tasked with enforcing the Fair Housing Act -- was not among the agencies signing the statement. "This is exactly why we've continued to call for better policy coordination in these rule makings among all the regulators," stressed Mortgage Bankers Association CEO David Stevens. "The absence of HUD is noticeable."