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CFPB Modified ECOA Regs, Seeks HMDA Comments

Phil Hall
Sep 21, 2017
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that it has taken measures to make it easier for consumers with urgent financial needs to obtain access to mortgage credit more quickly in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a modification of regulations on the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) that are designed to “provide additional flexibility for mortgage lenders in the collection of consumer ethnicity and race information.”
As a result of the CFPB’s changes, mortgage lenders will not be required to maintain different practices depending on their loan volume or other characteristics, thus enabling the use of application forms that include expanded requests for information regarding a consumer’s ethnicity and race, including the revised Uniform Residential Loan Application. The CFPB also finalized other amendments to Regulation B and its commentary for the collection and retention of information about the ethnicity, race, and sex of applicants seeking certain types of mortgage loans.
Separately, the CFPB also requested comment on proposed policy guidance describing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data that the agency plans to make public beginning in 2019, including modifications to protect consumers’ privacy. The CFPB is proposing to exclude certain data fields from what is shared publicly, including the property address and applicant’s credit score, and it also proposes disclosing certain information with what is defined as “reduced precision,” such as offering a loan applicant’s age as a range rather than a specific number.

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