Some pre-holiday HMDA fun from the Bureau . . . or the CFPB . . . forget it.

Last week, it was reported that recently confirmed Director Kraninger was going to halt efforts to rebrand the CFPB into the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) except for official reports, legal filings and other items specific to the office of the Director of the Bureau. In other news, the Bureau issued final policy guidance related to the disclosure of loan-level HMDA data. So at least we received a little clarity before the holidays.

Section 1003.5(c) of Regulation C currently requires that a credit union make available a written notice advising that the credit union’s loan/application register, as modified by the Bureau to address privacy concerns, may be obtained from the Bureau’s website. The 2015 HMDA Rule set forth the balancing test that the Bureau intended to use “to determine whether and how HMDA data should be modified prior to its disclosure to the public in order to protect applicant and borrower privacy while also fulfilling HMDA’s public disclosure purposes.”  See, 80 Fed. Reg. 66127, 66133. The final rule clarified that borrower privacy interests arise if the disclosure of unmodified HMDA loan-level data “would either substantially facilitate the identification of an applicant or borrower or disclose information about an applicant or borrower that is not otherwise public and that may be harmful or sensitive.” See, 80 Fed. Reg. 66127, 66134.

Using this balancing test, the Bureau determined that some data should be excluded to protect borrower privacy while other data should be modified. The final policy guidance issued last week described which loan-level HMDA data would be disclosed without modification and which loan-level HMDA data would be completely excluded.  The final policy guidance also addressed which loan-level HMDA data would be modified before being disclosed to protect against privacy concerns.


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