New York,USA, Nov 28 (EFE).- Bank of America will have to pay 12 million dollars for reporting false mortgage lending data to the United States federal government, announced Tuesday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“Bank of America violated a federal law that thousands of mortgage lenders have routinely followed for decades,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra in a statement.
Demographic data on mortgage lending is important to “monitor whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities and to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns,” the CFPB said.
According to the agency, Bank of America employees avoided asking some mortgage applicants for key demographic data, such as race or gender, and later falsely reported that those applicants had refused to provide that information.
In addition, the agency accused the bank of “turning a blind eye” to the problem for years, as it knew as early as 2013 that some of its employees were not collecting adequate information during their telephone interviews with mortgage applicants, but decided to do nothing.
The fine will go to the CFPB’s victim fund.
It is not the first time that the CFPB has taken action against Bank of America for violating federal law, with previous actions including a $200 million fine in July 2023 for “illegally charging junk fees, withholding credit card rewards, and opening fake accounts;” a $225 million fine in 2022 and the order to return of hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers for “botched disbursement of state unemployment benefits;” and a $727 million fine in 2014 for “illegal and deceptive credit card marketing practices.”
As of June 2023, the Bank of America was the second largest bank in the US, with $2.4 trillion in assets, according to the CFPB. EFE