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Protecting Mortgage Consumers from Watchful Eyes

In a recent letter, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to excluded more Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data from public disclosure.

HMDA requires financial institutions to maintain, report, and publicly disclose information about mortgages. You can view the CFPB’s HMDA data by clicking here.

Speaking on behalf of the organization, NAFCU’s Regulatory Affairs Counsel Andrew Morris proposed these disclosure changes to ensure sensitive consumer financial information was adequately safeguarded.

"HMDA's statutory purpose does not specify that the public should be able to dissect every aspect of a lender's underwriting process, and while NAFCU understands that transparency is valuable, there is a point at which the risks to privacy outweigh the benefits of expanded disclosure," Morris wrote. "NAFCU believes that the proposed policy guidance does not strike the correct balance."

Morris sentiments echo those of many in the industry who have expressed concerns about better protecting data after the recent high-profile Equifax breach. According the NAFCU, failure to take further precautions with HMDA data could “elevate the risk of fraud, identity theft, or embarrassment for individual borrowers or applicants.”

Final HMDA rule changes will take effect on January 1, with the bulk of data submissions due in 2019.

To learn more about NAFCU’s letter, click here.

About Author: Rachel Williams

Rachel Williams attended Texas Christian University (TCU), where she graduated with Magna Cum Laude with a dual Bachelor of Arts in English and History. Williams is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, widely recognized as the nation’s most prestigious honor society. Subsequent to graduating from TCU, Williams joined the Five Star Institute as an editorial intern, advancing to staff writer, associate editor and is currently the editor in chief and head of corporate communications. She has over a decade of editorial experience with a primary focus on the U.S. residential mortgage industry and financial markets. Williams resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband. She can be reached at [email protected]

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