|Equal Credit Opportunity Act|
|CITATION||15 U.S.C. § 1691 et seq.|
|SUMMARY||The ECOA makes it unlawful for any creditor to discriminate against an applicant, with respect to any aspect of a credit transaction, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age to the fact that the applicant has, in good faith, exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.|
|DATA COVERED||Records related to the extension, renewal or continuation of credit. These records must be retained for at least one year.|
The law applies to any national banks, Federal branches and Federal agencies of foreign banks, members of the Federal Reserve System or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and insured State branches of foreign banks.
The law applies to any financial institution, which in the ordinary course of business, regularly participates in a credit decision, including banks, retailers, bankcard companies, finance companies and credit unions.
The Federal Trade Commission enforces the law.
15 U.S.C. § 1691e provides for the recovery of actual damages. The law also provides for punitive damages of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in addition to the actual damages. Class actions are permitted but recovery cannot exceed the lesser of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) or 1 percent of the net worth of the creditor. The law also allows the recovery of costs and attorneys’ fees.