WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today announced final policy guidance describing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data the Bureau intends to make available to the public beginning in 2019, including modifications to protect consumers’ privacy.
HMDA requires lenders to collect, report, and publicly disclose loan-level data about their mortgage applications, originations, and purchases. The purposes of HMDA are to provide the public and public officials with sufficient information to enable them to determine whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities; assist public officials in distributing public-sector investment so as to attract private investment to areas where it is needed; and assist in identifying possible discriminatory lending patterns and enforcing antidiscrimination statutes.
In 2015 the Bureau finalized changes to Regulation C, the CFPB’s rule implementing HMDA, updating the quality and type of data that lenders must collect and report. These changes also shifted the responsibility for disclosing loan-level HMDA data from lenders to the HMDA supervisory agencies. The Bureau has stated that it intends to engage in rulemaking to reconsider aspects of the 2015 HMDA rule.
The Bureau has considered whether and how HMDA data should be modified prior to its disclosure to the public, in order to protect applicant and borrower privacy while also fulfilling HMDA’s public disclosure purposes. In doing so, the Bureau carefully reviewed public comments received on the proposed policy guidance issued in September 2017. The final policy guidance issued today describes the loan-level HMDA data that the Bureau intends to make available to the public beginning in 2019. The final policy guidance includes important modifications of the data to protect consumers’ privacy. For example, the Bureau intends to exclude certain data from the public HMDA data, including the property address and applicant’s credit score. The Bureau also intends to disclose certain information with reduced precision, such as by disclosing ranges rather than specific values for an applicant’s age, the amount of the loan, and the number of units in the dwelling.
The Bureau has decided that it would be beneficial to conduct a separate notice-and-comment rulemaking to incorporate any modifications of HMDA data into the text of Regulation C. That rulemaking will enable the Bureau to further consider, on the basis of additional comments, what HMDA data will be disclosed in future years. The Bureau intends to commence such a rulemaking in 2019.
The final policy guidance issued today is available here.
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations, by making rules more effective, by consistently enforcing federal consumer financial law, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.