Congressman Hultgren Introduces a Bill to Study Privacy Concerns of New HMDA Data

CBAI thanks Illinois Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-14) for introducing the Homeowner Information Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 4993). This bi-partisan legislation protects mortgage borrowers from exposure of their sensitive personal and financial information as a result of the new HMDA mortgage application data collection and reporting requirements. The publication of these new data fields together with real estate sales records and other publicly available information could be used to identify individual borrowers and connect them with the reported information including their credit scores and loan balances.RandyHultgren

This legislation requires the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study to determine if the new requirements increase the probability of exposing the identity of the mortgage applicant, identity theft, and the marketing of abusive financial products. There is also a requirement for the Comptroller General to recommend legislation or regulation to enhance consumer privacy in addition to suspending publication of the new data fields.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new HMDA Rule, issued on October 15, 2015, will increase the number of data fields that are required to be reported on mortgage loan applications from 23 to 48. Of the 25 new fields, approximately half were added at the CFPB’s discretion. Collection of the new data begins on January 1, 2018, with reporting of the data beginning in 2019.

Community bankers take very seriously their role as guardians of their customers’ sensitive personal and financial information. CBAI believes it is bad public policy for a government agency to expose that information to computer hackers and other data thieves.

CBAI strongly supports H.R. 4993.

May 20, 2016