Comment for 1002.5 - Rules Concerning Requests for Information
5(a) General rules.
1. Requests for information. This section governs the types of information that a creditor may gather. Section1002.6 governs how information may be used.
1. Local laws. Information that a creditor is allowed to collect pursuant to a “state” statute or regulation includes information required by a local statute, regulation, or ordinance.
2. Information required by Regulation C. Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003, generally requires creditors covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) to collect and report information about the race, ethnicity, and sex of applicants for certain dwelling-secured loans, including some types of loans not covered by § 1002.13.
3. Collecting information on behalf of creditors. Persons such as loan brokers and correspondents do not violate the ECOA or Regulation B if they collect information that they are otherwise prohibited from collecting, where the purpose of collecting the information is to provide it to a creditor that is subject to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act or another Federal or state statute or regulation requiring data collection.
1. Other permissible collection of information. Information regarding ethnicity, race, and sex that is not required to be collected pursuant to Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003, may nevertheless be collected under the circumstances set forth in § 1002.5(a)(4) without violating § 1002.5(b). The information must be retained pursuant to the requirements of § 1002.12.
5(d) Other limitations on information requests.
1. Indirect disclosure of prohibited information. The fact that certain credit-related information may indirectly disclose marital status does not bar a creditor from seeking such information. For example, the creditor may ask about:
i. The applicant's obligation to pay alimony, child support, or separate maintenance income.
ii. The source of income to be used as the basis for repaying the credit requested, which could disclose that it is the income of a spouse.
iii. Whether any obligation disclosed by the applicant has a co-obligor, which could disclose that the co-obligor is a spouse or former spouse.
iv. The ownership of assets, which could disclose the interest of a spouse.
1. Disclosure about income. The sample application forms in appendix B to the regulation illustrate how a creditor may inform an applicant of the right not to disclose alimony, child support, or separate maintenance income.
2. General inquiry about source of income. Since a general inquiry about the source of income may lead an applicant to disclose alimony, child support, or separate maintenance income, a creditor making such an inquiry on an application form should preface the request with the disclosure required by this paragraph.
3. Specific inquiry about sources of income. A creditor need not give the disclosure if the inquiry about income is specific and worded in a way that is unlikely to lead the applicant to disclose the fact that income is derived from alimony, child support, or separate maintenance payments. For example, an application form that asks about specific types of income such as salary, wages, or investment income need not include the disclosure.