CFPB set to issue HMDA guidance this summer

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to issue guidance later this summer on how it will give community banks partial exemptions from Home Mortgage Disclosure Act requirements.

The CFPB and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued identical press releases Thursday informing banks and financial firms about the status of the forthcoming HMDA guidance. HMDA data has been collected since 1975 to help root out discrimination in mortgage lending.

The guidance follows passage of a regulatory relief law in May that exempts an estimated 85% of all banks from expanded HMDA requirements mandated by the bureau under former Director Richard Cordray. The change aids institutions that originated fewer than 500 closed-end mortgages in each of the two prior calendar years and institutions that originated fewer than 500 open-end lines of credit over the same period.

The agency also reiterated the assurances it gave banks and mortgage lenders in December that it will not assess penalties for any errors in HMDA data collected this year.

"The Bureau does not intend to require financial institutions to resubmit data unless data errors are material, or to pay penalties with respect to data errors," the CFPB said in its press release. "Any examinations of 2018 HMDA data will be diagnostic to help institutions identify compliance weaknesses, and the Bureau will credit good-faith compliance efforts."

At the same time, larger banks that did not win relief on HMDA reporting this spring may still see changes going forward. In May, acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney said he plans to rescind Corday's actions, essentially eliminating the expanded data collection.

From a technical standpoint, loan origination system vendors can also breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be no changes in the format of any HMDA data fields in 2018, according to the release. Financial institutions that are excused from reporting certain data fields will enter exemption codes where necessary.

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