CFPB issues proposal to amend Regulation B to allow flexibility for mortgage lenders

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a proposal this week to amend Regulation B to provide additional flexibility for mortgage lenders concerning the collection of consumer demographic information.

Regulation B implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) — a federal civil rights law that protects applicants from being discriminated against by lenders.

CFPB rules regarding the ECOA include restrictions on lenders’ ability to ask for certain information from consumers as well as requirements to collect certain information from consumers. This allows the CFPB and other government agencies can help ensure lenders are following the law.

The new proposal would amend these requirements to increase mortgage lenders’ flexibility in collecting certain demographic information provided by mortgage applicants. It would also support the industry’s ability to use consistent forms and practices.

This will help the mortgage industry as it works to adopt new application forms, CFPB officials said. One of those forms is a 2004 version of the Uniform Residential Loan Application issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), which are collectively known at the Enterprises.

“The CFPB is committed to well-tailored and effective regulations and has sought to carefully calibrate its efforts to ensure consistency with respect to consumer financial protections across the financial services marketplace,” CFPB officials said.

Comments on the proposal will be due 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register.