WASHINGTON -- A top trade association official said Friday that he expects the Justice Department to clarify its fair-lending policy within the next four weeks.

Paul A. Schosberg, president of the Savings and Community Bankers of America, said Justice convened the interagency fairlending task force to respond to six questions that the major banking associations raised last month.

Those questions focus on the relationship between fair lending and the Community Reinvestment Act, minority hiring practices, activities that are likely to trigger a Justice investigation, and whether the results of bank self-examination can be used in court against an institution.

Mr. Schosberg, speaking at fair-lending conference here, said he believes the task force will urge Congress to address the last question.

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