Representative Waters, who heads the House Financial Services Committee, issued a statement in advance of hosting hearings on discrimination in automobile purchasing and financing. According to the witness list, testimony was limited to consumer advocates and no witnesses from industry testified. (https://financialservices.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=403647) Representative Waters issued this statement:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Buying a car is a significant purchase for many Americans and should be a fair and transparent transaction, free of discrimination. Unfortunately, this is not the case for persons of color. The National Fair Housing Alliance, in a test of auto lending discrimination, found that nearly two-thirds of minority loan applicants received higher cost financing options from automobile dealers than less qualified white applicants. Last Congress, Republicans impeded enforcement of fair lending laws, making discrimination potentially worse. They used the Congressional Review Act to rescind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s much needed guidance to indirect auto lenders on how to comply with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Discrimination also exists in the auto insurance industry. For example, the Consumer Federation of America found that auto insurers charge women and persons living in predominantly African American communities disproportionately higher premiums. These types of practices warrant Congressional scrutiny, analysis, and ultimately legislation. With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.