AI Adverse-Action Requirements

Continuing its use of novel rulings that preclude public notice and comment, the CFPB has issued a landmark ruling on artificial intelligence (AI) and other forms of algorithmic underwriting stipulating lender responsibility for sending out the adverse action notices required under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).  The CFPB recently added a broader range of credit decisions on outstanding loans (e.g., granting or reducing lines), to these notice requirements, making the reach of this new policy still broader. Lenders are responsible for adherence to these requirements even if their underwriting models are provided by third parties or credit decisions are made by third parties such as fintechs or auto dealers. However, when these nonbanks are the lender, they are then subject to CFPB enforcement even if the Bureau does not have formal supervisory power over them under another recent CFPB ruling. The press release accompanying the circular also includes more sweeping statements about broader fair-lending compliance obligations when using these underwriting systems.