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  • Special Alert: CFPB Proposes Amendments to 2015 HMDA Rule

    On April 13, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposal to amend the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) rule. The changes are primarily for the purpose of clarifying data collection and reporting requirements, and most of the clarifications and revisions would take effect in January 2018. Comments on the CFPB’s proposal are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    The CFPB describes the changes as being non-substantive in nature, noting that the proposal is meant to provide “clarifications, technical corrections, or minor changes.” While we describe the more significant proposed amendments below in greater detail, highlights of the proposal include:

    • Clarification of the definitions of “automated underwriting system,” “closed-end mortgage loan” (specifically, extension of credit), “dwelling” (specifically, multifamily residential structures and communities), “home improvement loan,” and “home purchase loan” (specifically, construction and permanent financing)
    • Permission for institutions to report “not applicable” for loan purpose and the loan originator’s Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry ID when reporting certain purchased loans originated before Regulation Z’s loan originator rules took effect
    • Clarification of the exclusions for temporary financing and construction loans, commercial or business purpose loans, financial institutions that do not meet the loan-volume threshold, and new funds in advance of consolidation with New York State consolidation, extension, and modification agreements (CEMA)
    • Provision of a safe harbor for bona-fide errors related to incorrect census tract reporting if the institution properly uses the geocoding tool published on the CFPB website

    ***
    Click here to read full special alert.

    If you have questions about the amendments or other related issues, visit our Consumer Financial Protection Bureau practice for more information, or contact a Buckley Sandler attorney with whom you have worked in the past.

    HMDA CFPB

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  • CFPB Proposes Amendment to Regulation C to Clarify HMDA Rule

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On April 13, the CFPB announced the release of its proposal to amend Regulation C (12 CFR Part 1003), the regulation that implemented the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and requires lenders to collect, report and disclose data on home loan applications, originations, and purchases of mortgage loans. On October 15, 2015, the Bureau updated the HMDA reporting requirements to expand the data collection scope, while simultaneously streamlining certain existing requirements (see Special Alert: CFPB Adopts Significant Expansion of HMDA Reporting Requirements). According to the Bureau’s press release, the 2017 proposed amendment is intended to “help financial institutions comply with the 2015 HMDA Final Rule by clarifying the information they are required to collect and report about their mortgage lending.” Specifically, the regulation, as amended, will establish “transition rules” for both “loan purpose” and the “unique identifier” for the loan originator. The transition rules will also allow financial institutions to report “not applicable” for these two data points. Furthermore, the proposal will make additional amendments to clarify certain key terms, such as “temporary financing” and “automated underwriting system,” and create a new reporting exception for certain transactions associated with New York State agreements. Comments on the proposal will be due within 30 days of its publication in the Federal Register.

    Additional information and materials covering the new HMDA Rule (amending Regulation C) can also be found in BuckleySandler’s HMDA Resource Center.  And, as recently covered by InfoBytes, the CFPB has also made available two webinars and various "Quick Reference" guides that help explain the HMDA.

    Agency Rulemaking & Guidance Lending HMDA Regulation C CFPB

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  • CFPB Proposes Amendment to Regulation B to Harmonize Regulation B with Other Mortgage Lending Regulations

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On March 24, the CFPB announced the release of its proposal to amend Regulation B (12 CFR Part 1002), which implements the ECOA, a federal civil rights law that protects applicants from discrimination by lenders. According to the Bureau, the proposed amendment is intended to “provide additional flexibility for mortgage lenders concerning the collection of consumer demographic information.” Specifically, the regulation, as amended, would allow lenders to use the updated Uniform Residential Loan Application form adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2016, rather than the 2004 version currently included in Regulation B, along with additional changes that would permit lenders to employ more uniform practices.

    As explained in a March 24 CFPB blog post, a core justification for the proposed change is consistency and clarity with respect to other Bureau rules. While ECOA and Regulation B generally prohibit creditors from asking loan applicants about their race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or gender, in some cases, such as mortgage loans, other regulations (i.e., Regulation C and the HMDA) require creditors to specifically ask for some of the very same information – including, for instance, race and ethnicity. To address this issue, the proposed amendments would allow institutions not subject to HMDA reporting requirements to choose on an “application-by-application basis” between two approaches to collecting personal demographic data from applicants: either the more limited, aggregate race and ethnicity categories required by Regulation B, or the disaggregated and more expansive categories required for HMDA-reporting institutions under revisions to Regulation C effective in 2018. The new rule would also create a safe harbor allowing for the collection (in certain circumstances) of data previously barred by Regulation B, establish consistent race and ethnicity categories that could be used in complying with both Regulation B and C.

    Comments on the proposal will be due within 30 days of its publication in the Federal Register.

    Agency Rulemaking & Guidance CFPB Regulation B ECOA Mortgage Lenders HMDA

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  • CFPB Issues Largest HMDA Fine in Bureau History Against Nonbank Mortgage Lender

    Lending

    On March 15, the CFPB announced a consent order assessing a $1.75 million civil money penalty against a national mortgage lender for failing to accurately report mortgage data in violation of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”). The Bureau alleged that, during the supervision process, it found the lender’s HMDA compliance systems to be flawed, and that the flaws led to the generation of “significant, preventable” errors in its mortgage lending data. The following violations were also alleged: (i) a failure to “maintain detailed HMDA data collection and validation procedures”; (ii) a failure to “implement adequate compliance procedures”; and (iii) a failure to “consistently define data among its various lines of business,” which resulted in data discrepancies.  As reported by the Bureau, the size of the penalty reflects the lender’s market size, the magnitude of the errors, and its history of violations. The terms of the consent order require the lender to pay a $1.75 million penalty, develop an effective compliance management system to prevent future violations, and review and correct HMDA reporting inaccuracies for the defined time period. Notably, the consent order does not provide for consumer redress.

    Later that day, the mortgage lender issued a statement announcing the resolution of the Bureau’s examination and highlighting the company’s efforts “over the past two years” to “proactively ma[ke] substantial investments in new staff, training and technology to enhance all of [their] HMDA-related processes and controls.”

    Lending CFPB Mortgage Lenders HMDA Data Collection / Aggregation

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  • CFPB Releases Second Webinar on New HMDA Rule

    Lending

    On February 14, the CFPB announced the availability of a second Webinar on the New Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Rule (amending Regulation C), a Rule that was itself finalized in late 2015 but that is predominantly not effective until January 1, 2018, or later. The new Webinar, with audio and closed-captioning over a slide-deck, focuses solely on identifiers and other “data points,” including the race and ethnicity of an applicant or borrower, which must be collected under the New HMDA Rule. In August 2016, the CFPB released an initial Webinar on the same Rule, covering a broader range of topics and without the focus on data points in the newer Webinar.

    In addition, the Bureau has now made available a one-page chart to summarize the options a financial institution has for collecting and reporting ethnicity and race information under current Regulation C, Regulation C effective January 1, 2018, and the Bureau’s Official Approval Notice (issued on September 23, 2016). All of the above-mentioned resources and many more related materials (such as an unofficial transcript we prepared of the initial Webinar) can also be found in Buckley Sandler’s HMDA Resource Center.

    Lending Consumer Finance CFPB HMDA Regulation C

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  • CFPB Releases Annual Report to Congress on Transparency, Accountability in 2016

    Federal Issues

    On January 3, the CFPB announced the release of its annual report to the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations for 2016. The report—which covers October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016—identifies the specific responsibilities that the Dodd-Frank Act tasked to the CFPB and explains how the Bureau has attempted to meet those responsibilities. Among other things, the report describes Bureau regulations and guidance related to the Dodd-Frank Act including, but not limited to: (i) a proposed rule on arbitration; (ii) a proposed rule related to payday loans, vehicle title loans, and other similar credit products; (iii) a final rule to amend various provisions of the mortgage servicing rules implementing the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act; and (iv) a final rule amending Regulation C, implementing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The report also includes descriptions of the Bureau’s supervisory activities and enforcement actions undertaken by in the 2016 fiscal year.

    Federal Issues Mortgages Consumer Finance CFPB Dodd-Frank RESPA HMDA U.S. Senate U.S. House Truth in Lending Act Regulation C

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  • FFIEC Updates CRA Data Entry Software and HMDA Data Filing Method

    Federal Issues

    On December 19, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) posted the 2017 version of its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Data Entry Software. This software—which is intended to help automate the filing of CRA data—is year-specific, i.e., 2016 reporting requires the 2016 version, not the 2017 version. In November, the FFIEC clarified that it was discontinuing its HMDA Data Entry Software and instead requiring that filers submit HMDA data collected in 2017 using a web interface called the “HMDA Platform.”

    Federal Issues Mortgages CRA FFIEC HMDA

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  • CFPB Publishes Fall 2016 Rulemaking Agenda

    Federal Issues

    On December 2, the CFPB published its Fall 2016 Statement of Regulatory Priorities, and its Fall 2016 rulemaking agenda, addressing current and future rulemakings in accordance with its obligations under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. In its Agenda, the Bureau notes, among other things, that: (i) publication of a final Arbitration rule is expected in February 2017; (ii) the Bureau intends to finalize proposed amendments to TRID by March 2017; and (iii) the Bureau plans to release in March 2017 a proposed set of technical corrections to the HMDA reporting requirements and proposed amendments to Regulation B “to clarify how financial institutions and creditors subject to Regulation C and Regulation B may comply with both regulations.” There was no next step identified for the proposed rule on payday loans and deposit advance products.

    In a corresponding blog post, the Bureau provided a brief status update and overview of its various rulemakings, which are grouped into pre-rule, proposed rule, final rule, long-term, and completed stages. The CFPB noted that it anticipates that the next “larger participant” rulemaking will focus on the markets for consumer installment loans and vehicle title loans, including whether to impose registration requirements on non-depository lenders.

    Federal Issues Consumer Finance CFPB HMDA Rule-Making TRID

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  • CFPB Releases 2017 Lists of Rural, Underserved Counties

    Federal Issues

    On November 20, the CFPB released the 2017 iteration of its annual lists of rural counties and rural or underserved counties for use in conjunction with the several CFPB rules that refer to “rural or underserved” and “rural” counties, including the balloon-payment qualified mortgage definition and the exemption from the escrow requirements for higher-priced mortgage loans. Rural counties were generally defined by using a U.S. Department of Agriculture classification system and under-served counties were defined by data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. In addition to these lists, the bureau also directs lenders to use the its Rural or Underserved Areas Tool to provide a safe harbor determination that a property is located in a rural or underserved area for purposes of Regulation Z.

    Federal Issues Mortgages CFPB HMDA Regulation Z

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  • CFPB Issues Warning Letters to 44 Mortgage Lenders and Brokers for Potential HMDA Reporting Failures

    Federal Issues

    On October 27, the CFPB issued warning letters to 44 mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers informing them that they may not be in compliance with certain provisions of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Regulation C. The warning letters state that the recipients may be required to collect, record, and report housing-related lending data, and that they may be violating those requirements. Under HMDA, financial institutions that meet certain criteria are required to collect and report data related to their housing-related activity, including home purchase loans, home improvement loans, and refinancings they originate or purchase, or for which the institutions receive applications. The letters recite HMDA’s coverage criteria for lenders who are not banks, credit unions, or savings associations, suggesting that the CFPB is particularly concerned about HMDA compliance for non-depository mortgage lenders. While the letters state that the CFPB has not made any determinations that the recipients are in violation of HMDA filing requirements, the letters urge recipients to review their practices to ensure compliance with the relevant laws, and encourage recipients to advise the CFPB if the institution has taken steps or will take steps to ensure compliance. The letters advise recipients of the CFPB’s authority to impose civil money penalties for noncompliance with HMDA. In October 2013, the CFPB fined a bank and a nonbank mortgage lender for filing inaccurate HMDA data. In October 2015, the CFPB finalized a rule amending the HMDA reporting requirements under Regulation C, with the majority of the provisions taking effect on January 1, 2018.

    Federal Issues Mortgages CFPB Nonbank Supervision HMDA

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