What should I do if I feel I have been discriminated against by a bank in the US?

What you should do if you feel you have been discriminated against by a bank in the US and which federal agencies you should contact to file a complaint.

Bank discrimination is one of the great flaws in the US financial system. In fact, it has been recognized as a real problem by several federal organizations such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which announced, in March of this year, that it would implement measures to address this issue and protect communities that have been discriminated against by US banks.

Therefore, if at any time you have felt that you have been discriminated against by a bank in the US, you should know that you can take action.

What should I do if I feel that I have been discriminated against by a bank that has denied me a loan?

According to the CFPB, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) makes it illegal for bank creditors to discriminate against eligible consumers for different types of financing.

Therefore, financial institutions, such as banks, cannot:

  1. Reject your credit application, even if you qualify for it, because of your race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, receiving money from a federal program, or exercising your rights under the Credit Protection Act of the Consumer.
  2. Dissuade you from applying for credits due to the reasons mentioned.
  3. Offer you credits on less favorable terms due to the reasons mentioned.
  4. Close your bank account.

If you feel discrimination has occurred, you can file an ECOA violation complaint on the CFPB website or by calling 855-411-2372 directly.

You may also consider suing the credit issuer (the bank) in federal district court. For this, it is best to hire the services of a lawyer.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if you win the bank discrimination lawsuit, you may be able to recover actual damages. And, in some cases, the court may award you an award of punitive damages.

In addition, the Federal Reserve also has a complaint service for consumers who believe that a bank has been unfair or has discriminated against them. You can do this by going to the Federal Reserve’s consumer help portal and submitting a complaint form.

Through the Federal Reserve portal, you can check which institution regulates the bank with which you had the discrimination conflict, in order to channel your dispute optimally.

According to the information published by this federal financial agency, you should receive the results of the investigation within 60 days after making the complaint.