The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits creditors from discrimination based on marital status, race, national origin, religion, sex, or age. Since marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in Florida since January 6, 2015, one might question whether the protections of the ECOA will have any effect on those married in Florida since that date. The ECOA has gender-neutral provisions and some gender-limiting provisions. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Office of the Attorney General, Internal Revenue Service, and other federal agencies have indicated that they would read out any gender-limiting provisions. Gender-neutral terms should be used in revisions of any internal ECOA policies in the business practices of Florida creditors.
For more information on same-sex marriages and the ECOA: See Samantha Alves Orender, “Marriage Equality and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act,” JDSupra Business Advisor (Jan. 27, 2015).
Posted by Aryane Garansi, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal