CFPB Warns Lenders to Consider Section 8 Voucher Income

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today issued a bulletin reminding creditors to include income from Section 8 homeownership vouchers when underwriting mortgage loans, in keeping with the prohibition on discrimination based on income derived from a public assistance program under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B.

The bureau noted that it “has become aware of one or more institutions excluding or refusing to consider income derived from the Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program” or “restrict[ing]the use of Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program vouchers to only certain home mortgage loan products or delivery channels.”

Both practices may constitute “disparate treatment prohibited under ECOA and Regulation B,” the bureau said. Underwriting policies regarding whether income derives from public assistance may also violate ECOA if they have a “disproportionately negative impact on a prohibited basis, even though the creditor has no intent to discriminate and the practice appears neutral on its face,” the CFPB added.