The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been busy over the last few months laying out what appears to be a broad regulatory agenda. As discussed in this blog, the Bureau has issued an industry notice emphasizing industry preparedness related to COVID-19 forbearance plans, issued proposed COVID-19-related amendments to the Mortgage Servicing Rules, suggested that it will soon issue an NPRM related to Dodd-Frank 1071, and has proposed a delay to the implementation of its Debt Collection Rules, among other things. As light begins to emerge at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, the CFPB and other relevant agencies have restarted the HMDA-reporting clock.
CFPB Ends Pandemic Reprieve on HMDA Reporting
On April 1, 2021, the CFPB rescinded seven policy statements issued in 2020 under the Trump administration. One of those policies relieved financial institutions from reporting quarterly loan data under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio stated in a news release that “providing regulatory flexibility to companies should not come at the expense of consumers” and that “[b]ecause many financial institutions have developed more robust remote capabilities and demonstrated improved operations, it is no longer prudent to maintain these flexibilities.” The rescission itself states that the CFPB “believes that companies have had sufficient time to adapt to the pandemic and should not be able to respond to the credit needs of consumers while still complying with the quarterly data submission requirement under Regulation C without the flexibility afforded under the Statement.” The rescission itself is effective as of April 1, 2021, and HMDA filers must file their 2021 first quarter data on or before May 31, 2021.
CFPB Announces Availability of 2020 HMDA Data
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recently published the modified Loan/Application Registers (LARS) for every financial institution that completed a HMDA data submission in 2020. Uejio stated in a news release that “HMDA data can help determine whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities and can better drive public-sector investment[,] . . . pinpoint potential discriminatory lending patterns, and address unjustified disparities in lending outcomes and credit pricing.”
At this time, users can access the data through the FFIEC’s HMDA platform, which is located here. Later this year, data will be available in other forms, including a nationwide loan-level dataset. The dataset will provide all publicly available data from all HMDA reporters, aggregate reports with summary information by geography and lender, and the HMDA Data Browser, which will allow users to create custom datasets and reports.
FFIEC Issues 2021 HMDA Guide
The FFIEC recently issued the 2021 edition of A Guide to HMDA Reporting. The 2021 guide addresses the collection and reporting of residential mortgage loan application data under the HMDA for 2021. One notable update to the 2021 guide is that it reflects the recent amendment of 12 C.F.R. § 1003 – Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C). That amendment increases the permanent threshold for collecting and reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans from 25 to 100 loans effective July 1, 2020, and increases the permanent threshold for collecting and reporting data about open-end lines of credit from 100 to 200, effective January 1, 2022.