While the economic recovery and regulatory policy affect access to credit for all households, some potential borrowers may face the added burden of discrimination. In our role as a banking regulator, the Federal Reserve strives to ensure that the banks we supervise obey laws that prohibit illegal discrimination in lending. I am reminded here that fair treatment in housing was a significant focus of Dr. King's, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968--still one of the nation's cornerstone laws to prohibit discrimination--was passed only a week after his assassination and stands among his legacies.
Two types of discrimination continue to have particular significance to mortgage markets: One is redlining, in which mortgage lenders discriminate against minority neighborhoods, and the other is pricing discrimination, in which lenders charge minorities higher loan prices than they would to comparable nonminority borrowers. The Federal Reserve has been vigilant in identifying and stopping such abuses, and we remain committed to vigorous enforcement of the nation's fair lending laws. We currently co-chair, with the Department of Justice, an interagency task force to promote robust fair lending supervision and enforcement.