Reps. Hultgren, Barr sponsor bill to study privacy risks of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act

U.S. Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced legislation that would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the privacy risks associated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule.

Under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the CFPB’s expanded the amount of data collection required. The bill, the Homeowner Information Privacy Protection Act, requires the Comptroller General of the GAO to study the privacy risks associated with the new data rules. It also seeks legislative or regulatory recommendations to enhance consumer privacy.

The legislation also would prohibit depository institutions, the CFPB, and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council from publishing, disclosing, or otherwise making available to the public any of this information.

The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) applauded the bill.

“Consumers should not have their private information placed at risk of public exposure when buying a home,” CBA’s President and CEO Richard Hunt said. “As experts note, the CFPB’s final HMDA rule exposes consumers’ financial and personal information, such as credit scores, debt-to-income ratios, and property addresses, to significant re-identification risk.

“We urge Congress to move swiftly in advancing the bill to better protect consumers’ private information,” Hunt said.