Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law


Allen Abraham


This Note focuses on the definition of “applicant” as defined in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B. Specifically, this Note explores the expanded protections offered by the ECOA to spousal guarantors, after the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) expanded the definition of “applicant” by promulgating Regulation B. However, after a circuit split, where the Eighth Circuit, in Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, held that a guarantor was not an “applicant” per the ECOA’s definition and the Sixth Circuit, in RL BB Acquisition, LLC v. Bridgemill Commons Development Group, LLC, followed Regulation B’s expansion of the definition of “applicant,” a void was created in anti-discriminatory laws meant to prevent gender discrimination in lending practices. To address the void, this Note will argue that it is imperative for Congress to amend the ECOA to include the Spousal Guarantor Rule as previously required by the FRB. Furthermore, this Note argues that a reporting requirement is necessary to measure the impact and effectiveness of the ECOA.