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Resources & Tools

Equal Credit Opportunity: If You Suspect Discrimination

(continued from Equal Credit Opportunity: Your Rights)

If You Suspect Discrimination…

  • Complain to the creditor. Make it known you’re aware of the law. The creditor may find an error or reverse the decision.
  • Check with your state Attorney General to see if the creditor violated state equal credit opportunity laws. Your state may decide to prosecute the creditor.
  • Bring a case in federal district court. If you win, you can recover damages, including punitive damages. You also can obtain compensation for attorney’s fees and court costs. An attorney can advise you on how to proceed.
  • Join with others and file a class action suit. You may recover punitive damages for the group of up to $500,000 or one percent of the creditor’s net worth, whichever is less.
  • Report violations to the appropriate government agency. If you’re denied credit, the creditor must give you the name and address of the agency to contact. While some of these agencies don’t resolve individual complaints, the information you provide helps them decide which companies to investigate. A list of agencies follows.

If a retail store, department store, small loan and finance company, mortgage company, oil company, public utility, state credit union, government lending program, or travel and expense credit card company is involved, contact:

Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, DC 20580.

The FTC cannot intervene in individual disputes, but the information you provide may indicate a pattern of possible law violations that require action by the Commission.

If your complaint concerns a nationally-chartered bank (National or N.A. will be part of the name), write to:

Comptroller of the Currency
Compliance Management
Mail Stop 7-5
Washington, DC 20219

If your complaint concerns a state-chartered bank that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation but is not a member of the Federal Reserve System, write to:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Consumer Affairs Division
Washington, DC 20429

If your complaint concerns a federally-chartered or federally-insured savings and loan association, write to:

Office of Thrift Supervision
Consumer Affairs Program
Washington, DC 20552

If your complaint concerns a federally-chartered credit union, write to:

National Credit Union Administration
Consumer Affairs Division
Washington, DC 20456

Complaints against all kinds of creditors can be referred to:

Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Washington, DC 20530

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