On May 4, 1995, the federal banking regulatory agencies published new Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations.' This culminated a process that began nearly two years earlier, in July 1993, when President Clinton called on the agencies to reform the CRA enforcement regime. The goal was to institute a regulatory scheme that emphasized lending performance over process, that was more objective and less subject to arbitrary interpretation, and that reduced unnecessary paperwork.2 With this presidential mandate, the agencies commenced a 21-month odyssey that included seven hearings around the country with more than 250 witnesses, two sets of proposed revisions to the CRA regulations, and nearly 14,000 comment letters.3 The new regulations will eventually completely replace the current regulations.4 This article describes and analyzes the new CRA regulations and their implications for low-income communities. It first puts the new regulations in context with a brief overview of the CRA and the current regulations.
29 Clearinghouse Rev. 1021 (1995-1996)