This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said it plans to review recent changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) rules and has requested public input on those rules.

The CFPB said in a statement Tuesday that it would evaluate the effectiveness of recent rule changes as a way to strengthen the agency’s ability to maintain a fair, competitive and non-discriminatory mortgage market.

“HMDA, which was originally enacted in 1975, requires many lenders to report information about the home loans for which they receive applications or that they originate or purchase,” the statement said. “The public and regulators can use the information to monitor whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities, to assist in distributing public-sector investment so as to attract private investment to areas where it is needed, and to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns.”

Changes to the HMDA regulations were finalized in 2015. The changes expanded the types of data lenders report to improve overall market information and help with monitoring for fair lending compliance, the statement said. The CFPB said the 2015 rule also improved the reporting process by aligning requirements with industry data standards, enhancing the technology interface, and easing requirements for some small banks and credit unions.

The CFPB said the RFI follows an August 2021 HMDA report, which found that mortgage lenders more often deny credit and charge higher interest rates to Black and Hispanic applicants than they do to white applicants. A July 2021 CFPB analysis of mortgage lending patterns within the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities used racial and ethnic data and found variability in lending among AAPI communities. Some subgroups showed mortgage denial rates similar to those of Black and Hispanic borrowers, the CFPB said.

The CFPB said it was seeking public input to ensure the agency used the data collected in ways that most effectively meet the rule’s goals, and included that the evaluation would focus on:

  • Institutional coverage and transactional coverage
  • Data points
  • Benefits of the new data and disclosure requirements
  • Operational and compliance costs.