Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

January 8, 2014

CFPB’s Regulatory Agenda — Collect More Data!

By David Reiss

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published its Semiannual Regulatory Agenda in the Federal Register.  Of note are amendments to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act’s Regulation C. These amendments are in the prerule stage.  The Agenda states that HMDA

requires certain financial institutions to collect and report information in connection with housing-related loans and applications they receive for such loans. The amendments made by the Dodd-Frank Act expand the scope of information relating to mortgage applications and loans that must be compiled, maintained, and reported under HMDA, including the ages of loan applicants and mortgagors, information relating to the points and fees payable at origination, the difference between the annual percentage rate associated with the loan and benchmark rates for all loans, the term of any prepayment penalty, the value of real property to be pledged as collateral, the term of the loan and of any introductory interest rate for the loan, the presence of contract terms allowing non-amortizing payments, the origination channel, and the credit scores of applicants and mortgagors. The Dodd-Frank Act also provides authority for the CFPB to require other information, including identifiers for loans, parcels, and loan originators. The CFPB expects to begin developing proposed regulations concerning the data to be collected and appropriate format, procedures, information safeguards, and privacy protections for information compiled and reported under HMDA. The CFPB may consider additional revisions to its regulations to accomplish the purposes of HMDA. (1243)

While esoteric for most, this is an important development. The lending industry collects lots of loan-level data. But that data is very expensive to access for academic and policy researchers. Improved loan-level data will better allow government agencies and researchers to study the mortgage market in a timely way. This will allow them (hopefull!) to identify unsustainable and predatory developments more quickly.

In another effort relevant to the mortgage market, the CFPB also noted that it “is continuing rulemaking activities that will further establish the Bureau’s nonbank supervisory authority by defining larger participants of certain markets for consumer financial products and services. Larger participants of such markets, as the Bureau defines by rule, are subject to the Bureau’s supervisory authority.” (1242)

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