The CFPB announced on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, proposed guidance to limit the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data it shares publicly. The Bureau’s 2015 HMDA amendments (discussed in our alerts here and here) revamped HMDA’s coverage and processes, including requiring lenders to report vast swaths of new data about mortgage applicants and their loans. At the time, the Bureau said that it was still considering what portion of that data it would share with the public. It expressed sensitivity to the privacy and data security concerns implicated by gathering and maintaining such large amounts of personal data, which include applicant and borrower addresses, loan amounts, and credit scores, and sought public comment. In response, many consumer advocates and lenders expressed concern with sharing such sensitive information and urged the CFPB to limit the public sharing of that data.
Now, almost two years later, the CFPB has made its proposal. The Bureau would eliminate more than a dozen data and text fields—including the applicant or borrower’s property address, credit score(s), and race and ethnicity—from the HMDA data it publicly discloses. It is proposing a compromise on other data fields by making them less precise. For example, rather than publishing a borrower’s loan amount and property value, it would “disclose the midpoint for the $10,000 interval into which the reported value falls.” And rather than disclosing the borrower’s age, the Bureau would publish a range (under 25, 25 to 34, 35 to 44, etc…).
The comment period ends 60 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register, and the update will take effect on January 1, 2018.