George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Using Disparate Impact Analysis to Establish Discrimination in Lending

Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: National Press Club
  • Division: The Henry G. Manne Program in Law & Economics Studies

Program Description: On April 18, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it will use all available legal avenues to pursue lending discrimination cases, including the use of disparate impact analysis.

Under disparate impact analysis even though a lender’s practices or policies are in compliance with the provisions of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the lender’s policies may be found to have a “discriminatory” effect on a protected class by statistical analysis. This theory permits the government or private litigants to claim discrimination under the FHA and the ECOA without having to show intent to discriminate.

Two panels of experts will explore this timely issue and its ramifications for consumer credit markets. The first panel of experts will focus the status of the law: Is disparate impact analysis a statutory doctrine under the FHA and ECOA or a court generated doctrine that is still to be resolved? What is required to sustain a finding of discrimination under a disparate impact analysis? The second panel of experts will discuss whether or not there may be unintended consequences for consumers and lenders if discrimination is no longer based on intent but a statistical analysis of a lender’s underwriting guidelines.



Disparate Impact Doctrine under the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act


John M. Yinger, Trustee Professor of Public Administration and Economics, The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Andrew L. Sandler, Chairman & Executive Partner, BuckleySandler LLP

Luke M. Froeb, William C. Oehmig Associate Professor in Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University

John Hasnas, Associate Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

The Honorable Frank Keating,
 President and CEO, American Bankers Association

Unintended Consequences – Good for the Consumer?


Paul H. Rubin, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics, Emory University

Cindy Collins, Chief Compliance Officer, Hancock Holding Co.

Alan M. White, Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law

D. Jean Veta, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

Anthony M. Yezer, Professor of Economics, The Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

Hester Peirce, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University