Case: US V. ASSOCIATES NATIONAL BANK

1:99-cv-00196 | U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware

Filed Date: March 29, 1999

Closed Date: Jan. 8, 2001

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 29, 1999 the Department of Justice filed a claim in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against Associates National Bank of Delaware, a consumer credit card bank, alleging that it engaged in discriminatory lending practices. More specifically, the Department of Justice alleged that the defendant violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by discriminating on the basis of national origin. More specifically, the Department of Justice charged that Associates National Bank …

On March 29, 1999 the Department of Justice filed a claim in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against Associates National Bank of Delaware, a consumer credit card bank, alleging that it engaged in discriminatory lending practices.

More specifically, the Department of Justice alleged that the defendant violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by discriminating on the basis of national origin. More specifically, the Department of Justice charged that Associates National Bank of Delaware subjected Hispanic borrowers to stricter underwriting standards and less favorable terms and conditions than those applied to non-Hispanic borrowers.

These findings were based on a report filed in March 1997 by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after the agency completed a routine bank examination.

The plaintiff filed a proposed consent order on January 8, 2001 that was signed by the court. Under the consent order, the defendant is permanently enjoined from engaging in any act or practice that violates the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In addition, the defendant will establish a $1.5 million compensation fund to provide damages to Hispanic borrowers who applied for for a credit card between late February 1996 and April 1997. Any remaining funds will go towards a consumer education outreach campaign to Hispanic communities.

This is the first fair lending case brought by the Department of Justice alleging discrimination in connection with credit cards.

Summary Authors

Megan Richardson (3/30/2014)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Byrd, April (Delaware)

Green, David A (Delaware)

Heffernan, Brian F. (District of Columbia)

Kinney, Judith (Delaware)

Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)

Magagna, Joan A. (District of Columbia)

O'Brian, Valerie R. (District of Columbia)

Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)

Rosenthal, Seth (District of Columbia)

Ross, Alexander C. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Byrd, April (Delaware)

Green, David A (Delaware)

Heffernan, Brian F. (District of Columbia)

Kinney, Judith (Delaware)

Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)

Magagna, Joan A. (District of Columbia)

O'Brian, Valerie R. (District of Columbia)

Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)

Rosenthal, Seth (District of Columbia)

Ross, Alexander C. (District of Columbia)

Schnee, Carl (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Klubes, Benjamin Barnet (District of Columbia)

Sandler, Andrew L. (District of Columbia)

Welch, Edward P. (Delaware)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

United States of America v. Associates National Bank

Sept. 21, 2001 Docket

Credit Card Company Sued by Justice Department for Discriminating Against Hispanics

United States v. Associates National Bank

No Court

March 29, 1999 Press Release

Settlement Agreement Between United States of America and Associates National Bank

United States v. Associates National Bank

Jan. 8, 2001 Settlement Agreement

Justice Department Settles Lending Discrimination Suit Against Associates National Bank [Press Release]

United States v. Associates National Bank

No Court

Jan. 8, 2001 Press Release

Complaint

United States of America v. Associates National Bank

None Complaint

[Case Summary]

United States v. Associates National Bank

No Court

None Other

Resources

Title Description External URL

Racism in the Credit Card Industry

Andrea Freeman

In a social and financial climate characterized by deep racial and socioeconomic divide, racism against credit card applicants and consumers is a core piece of the systemic inequality that perpetuate… May 1, 2017 http://scholarship.law.unc.edu/...

The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation

Andrew Nash

This paper describes the origins of fair lending litigation in the 1970s. It documents two litigation strategies, one aimed at discriminatory lenders in local communities and a second at the federal … Dec. 4, 2008 http://ssrn.com/...

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Delaware

Case Type(s):

Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 29, 1999

Closing Date: Jan. 8, 2001

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Section on Housing and Civil Enforcement.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Associates National Bank of Delaware, Private Entity/Person

Defendant Type(s):

Bank or credit provider

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. § 1691

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $1,500,000.

Order Duration: 2001 - 2001

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Issues

General:

Predatory lending

Discrimination-area:

Lending

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic