Thursday, May 10, 2018

Racism In 2018? You Bet... And Codified By Conservatives In Congress


Conor Lamb (PA) voted with the Democrats on a progressive position yesterday. It was his first time. 11 of his fellow Blue Dogs didn't. And it was an important bill-- overturning a a CFPB rule on equal credit opportunity. Jerry Moran's overtly racist bill passed the House 234 to 175, every Republican but Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) voting yes, while the 11 Blue Dogs and New Dems crossed the aisle to vote with the GOP, these 11:
Jim Cooper (TN)
Lou Correa (CA)
Jim Costa (CA)
Henry Cuellar (TX)
Vicente Gonzalez (TX)
Gene Green (D-TX)
Stephanie Murphy (FL)
Colin Peterson (MN)
Kurt Schrader (OR)
David Scott (GA)
Filemon Vela (TX)
It's setp back into the racist past that conservatives of both parties feel perfectly comfortable with. "The color of your skin," reporter CNBC, "can make buying a car more expensive, decades of experiments and data show. As a result, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau put out a notice in 2013 reaffirming that discriminatory auto lending is illegal. The House voted Tuesday to undo that guidance-- following the Senate, which did the same last month. The measure now moves to President Trump, who is expected to sign it into law." Expected? With a big smile on his ugly botox-ed face!
Car dealers often work with third-party lenders, such as banks or credit unions, to provide financing options to consumers.

Once that "indirect" lender offers the car dealer an interest rate on an auto loan, the dealer is often allowed to mark up that rate to the buyer for additional compensation. Such dealer discretion has resulted in discriminatory lending practices, research shows.

"A loan origination should be as objective as possible, but when you add discretion, you add subjective means that are harder to keep transparent and hold accountable," said Delvin Davis, lead expert on auto lending at the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit research and advocacy group for consumers, which conducted the auto lending research.

Just this year, the National Fair Housing Alliance, a collection of organizations that fight against housing and other types of lending discrimination, launched an investigation into the auto loan industry by sending white and nonwhite "testers" into car dealerships in Virginia.

More than 60 percent of the time, the nonwhite individuals who were more qualified than their white counterparts were given more costly options. As a result, people of color who faced discrimination would pay an average of $2,662 more over the length of the loan.

Advocates have long pushed for the government to step in and address this double standard.

A spokesman for The National Automobile Dealers Association, a trade group, said claims that the removal of this guidance would encourage discrimination were "completely baseless."

"America's franchised auto dealers strongly believe that every customer deserves to be treated fairly, and that there is no room for discrimination of any kind in auto retailing-- period," said Jared Allen, senior director of media relations.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's 2013 guidance explained how the Equal Credit Opportunity Act-- which prohibits lending based on an individual's race, religion, sex or age-- also applied to the auto loan industry.

And it made clear that lenders who offer loans though dealerships are responsible for any unlawful and discriminatory pricing.

Shortly after the guidance was issued, the CFPB and the Department of Justice reached their "largest auto loan discrimination settlement in history" with Ally Bank, for charging more than 235,000 minority borrowers higher interest rates for auto loans between 2011 and 2013. The bank was ordered to pay $80 million in damages to harmed African-American, Hispanic and Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers and $18 million in penalties.

In response to a request for comment, a spokesman for Ally pointed to the statement the lender issued after the settlement: "Ally does not engage in or condone violations of law or discriminatory practices, and based on the company's analysis of its business, it does not believe that there is measurable discrimination by auto dealers."

Since then, the government also has reached settlements with Fifth Third Bank, Toyota and Honda over those companies' lending practices.

A spokesman for Honda said that while it did reach a settlement with the CFPB, it disagreed with the way in which the government tested for bias.

"[We] firmly believe that our lending practices have been fair and transparent," Chris Martin of Honda said. Fifth Third Bank and Toyota did not respond to requests for comment.

Advocates said they worry the reversal of this guidance would cause auto lenders and dealers to price loans on criteria other than creditworthiness and income.

"It's amazing how large companies began to behave themselves simply knowing that they were being watched," said Hilary Shelton, senior vice president for advocacy and policy at the NAACP. "Now we'll see them going back to their discriminatory practices."

Such a turnaround is already underway, said Davis, the lead researcher on auto lending at the Center for Responsible Lending.

Amid the scrutiny from the consumer bureau, BB&T, a retail bank that issues auto loans, voluntarily shifted from its interest rate markup model to a flat-fee method, in which every auto loan generates the same compensation, Davis said.

"But once the change in the CFPB leadership happened," Davis said, "BB&T changed back to their original state of allowing interest rate markups."
Tuesday night may Democrats were celebrating a big win in North Carolina for right-wing Blue Dog Dan McCready. No one knows how he would have voted on this. But you wouldn't be crazy to guess he would have voted with the rest of the Blue Dogs and the Republicans. That's the risk you take when you vote for a Blue Dog. The official Blue Dog candidates running this cycle, besides McCready:
Brad Ashford (NE)
Anthony Brindisi (NY)
Paul Davis (KS)
Gretchen Driskell (MI)
Jim Gray (KY)
Brendan Kelly (IL)
Ben McAdams (UT)
Max Rose (NY)
Denny Wolff (PA)
Jeff Van Drew (NJ)
Levi Tillemann, the progressive Democrat running for the suburban Denver congressional seat occupied by Mike Coffman, told us that "Trump and his allies in Congress are doing everything they can enrich themselves. They are using underhanded business practices to funnel money away from our most vulnerable communities and into the pockets of fat cat donors. In Colorado's 6th congressional District, we're seeing that same risk in the Democratic primary where voters have a stark choice between a corporate lawyer who fought against the CFPB and on behalf of payday lenders and a progressive who has and will always fight for working Americans."

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At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your banner is wrong. All studies indicate xenophobia is genetic. We all have a natural affinity for those who look like ourselves (actually, like our mother who is the first person we see in life).

Absent any trauma associated with genotypes, overcoming this natural xenophobia tends to be fairly trivial with broad socialization early in life. But it is learned.

However, the virulent hate that white americans enjoy is learned.

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardless of the cause of xenophobia, Trump is leading the charge to return the nation to the 1840s.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or the 1950s, 8:10. Can we also say that, post "Great Society", the 'craps haven't done shit to stop or slow it down?

Name one thing the 'craps did after the SC gutted the voting rights consent decree; young blacks being openly culled by the police; Voter caging, strip and flip; remember obamanation deporting more latins than cheney/bush by an order of magnitude?

Yes, the Nazi party and their demagogue are open and overt. But the relentless INaction by the 'craps has been almost as bad.

Bottom line is if you're not obscenely rich, white, straight or male, neither party gives one flying fuck about you... and the Nazi party admits it.

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would agree with you, 2:34, except that during the 1950s, slavery wasn't legal.

"Bottom line is if you're not obscenely rich, white, straight or male, neither party gives one flying fuck about you... and the Nazi party admits it."

You left out one qualifier: Judeo-Christian. And the support for the Judeo part isn't all that strong if money isn't attached.


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