More than 60 Democratic members of Congress, including Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, protested a proposal by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would limit lender information collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).
The dissenting members sent a letter to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, asking her to “immediately rescind” proposals that would limit critical lending information collected under the HMDA.
Included on the list of lawmakers opposing the proposals were Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rep. Elijah Cummings.
In May, the CFPB proposed raising the HMDA threshold for reporting closed-end mortgage loans, and a proposal that would prevent the public from learning about predatory and discriminatory lending activities in communities, particularly rural communities.
“The enactment of S. 2155 into law last year, recklessly exempted about 85% of depository institutions from reporting enhanced HMDA data about lending in underserved communities,” the lawmakers wrote. “Now, the Consumer Bureau is proposing to cut deeper, exempting 1,720 financial institutions from basic HMDA reporting requirements for closed-end mortgage loans.”
Lawmakers pointed to evidence that showed discrimination in bank lending and stressed the important of HMDA data to better understand access to credit in their communitities.
“This cannot be overstated: recent data has made clear that discrimination in lending continues to be a major problem, with conduct such as redlining continuing to be pervasive in too many communities across the country,” the lawmakers wrote. “To promote fair lending, homeownership, and stronger communities, the Consumer Bureau must ensure there is easy access to lending data. By putting much of this information back in the shadows, the Consumer Bureau is abandoning its mission and giving a free pass to those that would discriminate against otherwise creditworthy borrowers.”
The HMDA was enacted in 1975, responding to concerns that some lenders failed to provide adequate home financing to qualified applicants, which had contributed to a decline in housing conditions in communities of color.