Fair Lending

New Yorkers are protected by federal, state, and local laws prohibiting lending discrimination.  The federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or source of income.  The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in residential real estate transactions on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.  The New York State Human Rights Law extends these protections by also prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age, sexual orientation, marital status, or military status; and local laws provide residents of certain New York municipalities with additional protections.

Lending discrimination may take many forms, including failing or refusing to provide credit or related services to certain individuals or communities, or providing credit to certain individuals or communities on unfavorable terms without justification.  Lenders may discriminate in the provision of various types of credit products, including home purchase loans, refinance loans, home improvement loans, small business loans, auto loans, consumer loans, and student loans, among others.  The Civil Rights Bureau investigates patterns and practices of lending discrimination.  

If you have questions or believe you have been a victim of lending discrimination, contact the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office at 212-416-8250 or civil.rights@ag.ny.gov.