Fair lending compliance certainly applies to reverse mortgages. Just like traditional mortgages, reverse mortgages are subject to federal laws governing mortgage lending, including TILA, RESPA, and fair lending laws such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). These laws and their respective implementing regulations set forth important protections for all mortgage borrowers, including reverse mortgage borrowers.
But, many protections are not tailored to the unique needs of reverse mortgage consumers. ECOA and its implementing regulation, Regulation B, set forth rules prohibiting discrimination by a creditor based on age (or race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or marital status) with respect to any aspect of a credit transaction. ECOA covers both intentional discrimination (i.e., disparate treatment) and also facially neutral practices that have a disparate impact on a prohibited basis, including age.
Regulation B also prohibits creditors from making statements to applicants or prospective applicants discouraging – on a prohibited basis – a reasonable person from making or pursuing an application.