CFPB Finalizes Equal Credit Opportunity Act Regulation
September 20, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) modified Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B) regulations to provide additional flexibility for mortgage lenders in the collection of consumer ethnicity and race information. These amendments will provide greater clarity for mortgage lenders regarding their obligations under the law, while promoting compliance with rules intended to ensure consumers are treated fairly.
Separately, the CFPB also seeks comment on proposed policy guidance describing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data the CFPB proposes to make available to the public beginning in 2019, including modifications to protect consumers’ privacy.
The changes, initially proposed in March, will provide compliance flexibility for individual mortgage lenders, and also support the broader mortgage industry’s ability to use consistent forms and compliance practices. Mortgage lenders will not be required to maintain different practices depending on their loan volume or other characteristics, allowing more lenders to adopt application forms that include expanded requests for information regarding a consumer’s ethnicity and race, including the revised Uniform Residential Loan Application.
The CFPB also finalized other amendments to Regulation B and its commentary to facilitate compliance with Regulation B’s requirements for the collection and retention of information about the ethnicity, race, and sex of applicants seeking certain types of mortgage loans.