The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, or HMDA, requires many financial institutions to maintain, report, and publicly disclose information about mortgages. The law was updated and expanded to include additional reporting requirements in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The data gathered by HMDA is crucial because it demonstrates patterns of whether lenders are serving the housing needs of their communities; it sheds light on lending patterns that could be discriminatory; and it gives public officials and policy advocates information that help them make decisions and establish policies. HMDA data can also help us determine if certain areas or businesses are facing increased lending costs and therefore a greater risk of foreclosure.
The U.S. Senate is currently considering a bill, S. 2155, the mis-named Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. Of great concern to us is section 104, which would exempt 85% of banks and other mortgage providers from full reporting of loan data under HMDA. Exempting lenders from reporting the expanded HMDA requirements means that we will lose data on loan characteristics (such as interest rate, loan term, introductory rate period, and other features) and on borrower characteristics (including age, credit score, debt to income ratio). Senator Catherine Cortez Mastro (NV) intends to offer an amendment to completely strike Section 104. If Senator Cortez Mastro is allowed to offer her amendment, and if it is accepted, the bill will move forward without harming HMDA. The NAACP-supported Cortez Mastro amendment is likely to be considered as early as Monday, 3/12!
For more information, including how you can be an effective advocate, please see the attached Action Alert.