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CFPB Takes Steps to Improve Information about Access to Credit in the Mortgage Market
Monday, February 10, 2014 7:00 AM

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking steps to improve information reported about the residential mortgage market to help better understand borrowers’ access to credit. As a first step in the rulemaking process, the CFPB is convening a panel of small businesses to provide feedback on potential changes to mortgage information reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

The CFPB is considering changes to make it easier for mortgage lenders to provide better information. The agency is also making it easier for the public to use the already-available public information. Taken together, these efforts can improve the quality and accessibility of mortgage loan information.

To provide better information about residential mortgage credit, the CFPB is considering changes to the rules that establish what data financial institutions are required to provide under HMDA. As a next step in the rulemaking process, the Bureau will convene a Small Business Review Panel, as required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA). Specifically, the CPPB will use the panel to seek early feedback from small lenders, including feedback on how data can be updated to better reflect what is happening in the market. While this information would be reported to regulators, not all of it would be disclosed in the public HMDA dataset. Potential changes under consideration by the CFPB include:

  • Improvements required by Dodd-Frank
  • New developments in the market
  • Monitoring access to credit

Because it can be cumbersome for lenders to collect and submit HMDA information, the agency is comprehensively reviewing reporting requirements. The CFPB is asking for feedback on ways it can:

  • Streamline reporting
  • Standardize the threshold
  • Improve data entry

A factsheet about the changes the CFPB is considering is on its website. Credit unions will also find an outline of proposals under consideration on which the CFPB will seek input from the Small Business Review Panel. The CFPB has also posted a list of questions on which it will seek input from the Small Business Review Panel and a factsheet summarizing the Small Business Review Panel process.