Re: Docket No. CFPB-2021-0018; Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C); Request for Information Regarding the HMDA Rule Assessment
January 21, 2022
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
1700 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20552
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Housing Policy Council, and Mortgage Bankers Association (collectively, the Associations), on behalf of our respective members, appreciate the opportunity to respond to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (the Bureau) Request for Information (RFI) to inform the Bureau on a planned assessment of the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act regulations and related amendments (HMDA Rule). We appreciate the Bureau's decision to evaluate the effectiveness of the HMDA Rule in meeting its stated goals and the purposes and objectives of the Dodd-Frank Act's amendments to HMDA.
The Associations commend the Bureau for engaging in a focused evaluation of the HMDA Rule and its associated burdens and benefits. We agree with the Bureau that this regulation is very important to all mortgage stakeholders and that policymakers, the public and mortgage industry participants would benefit from a careful assessment of the HMDA Rule. The Associations are particularly encouraged by the Bureau's assurances in the RFI that the assessment is "an opportunity to evaluate whether prior HMDA rulemakings have improved upon the data collected, reduced unnecessary burden on financial institutions, and streamlined and modernized the manner in which financial institutions collect and report HMDA data." We commend the Bureau's intention to assess the benefits, costs and impacts that its regulations have on all mortgage credit stakeholders.
The Associations previously submitted comments to the Bureau on October 15, 2019, pursuant to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) issued in May 2019 (2019 Comment). In that submission, the Associations offered a comprehensive assessment of the costs and benefits of complying with the HMDA Rule. The 2019 Comment provided data on the regulatory costs associated with the HMDA Rule, which remains pertinent to this assessment.
To summarize, to respond to the 2019 ANPR the Associations partnered with STRATMOR Group to conduct a comprehensive survey (Survey) to identify the precise burdens associated with HMDA Rule compliance. First, our ANPR response offered a detailed description of the implementation costs associated with the 2015 rulemaking that implemented the Dodd-Frank Act reforms and related amendments to HMDA. Second, the 2019 Comment offered survey data on the resources necessary to comply with HMDA on an ongoing basis. Third, the 2019 Comment presented cost/benefit assessments, also based on survey results, regarding HMDA's institutional coverage and the value of the rule's multiple data points. Finally, we made recommendations to eliminate several HMDA data points to reduce costs and increase regulatory efficiency.
The Associations believe that the data, analysis, and recommendations included in the 2019 Comment apply to the current assessment, and therefore, we urge the Bureau to review that letter in the context of this assessment. Although we have reason to believe that multiple cost figures have increased since our submission of the Survey, the Associations believe that the data remain the most accurate cost data available on a market-wide basis. Staffing and other challenges caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic makes data from 2020 and 2021 difficult to collect. Further, even if it could be collected, the data would have the potential to misrepresent ongoing HMDA compliance costs, as it would reflect broader operational challenges related to the pandemic and not the rule. Therefore, we encourage the Bureau to rely on the data reported in the 2019 Comment for this assessment.
Download the comment letter to read the full text.