On May 1, 2019 Chairman Al Green (D-TX), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, convened a hearing entitled, “Examining Discrimination in the Automobile Loan and Insurance Industries.” In a memorandum to the subcommittee, the Financial Services Committee Majority Staff provided background information on the issue, stating, “auto loan debt is the third largest category of household debt, after mortgages and student loans. Nearly all American households own at least one vehicle, and most Americans must borrow money in order to purchase a car. Auto borrowing varies by income, age, and state.” As vehicles are becoming increasingly sophisticated, it makes sense that their price tag would reflect those technological advancements. A monetary increase of any product has the propensity to impact any American family; research unveiled in the memorandum highlights that non-white borrowers were charged significantly more than white consumers. The memorandum also noted that due to a lack of data collection of discriminatory practices in auto finance, it is difficult to make any significant progress in abetting the issue. Opening statements from Committee Members highlight that it is unacceptable that there is discrimination in this industry.
- John W. Van Alst, Attorney, National Consumer Law Center; Director, Working Cars for Working Families, and NCLC project
- Rachel J. Cross, Policy Analyst, Frontier Group
- Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Joshua Rivera, Policy Advisor, University of Michigan, Poverty Solutions
- James Lynch, Chief Actuary, Vice President of Research and Education, Insurance Information Institute
To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.