The CFPB Is Making It Harder for the Public to Identify Unfair Mortgage Lending

Prosperity Now is calling for organizations to sign on to our letter opposing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) attempt to make it harder for ordinary citizens to understand mortgage data that could reveal discriminatory practices. Under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), mortgage lenders are required to report this data to the public.

Specifically, the Bureau wants to dismantle technology platforms that convert raw mortgage data into usable formats showing mortgage lending patterns. Without these tools, the data is restricted to academics, officials and journalists with the resources, time and expertise to analyze the data.

HMDA was passed to address concerns about discriminatory or unequal lending practices. Certain communities were not receiving safe and affordable home financing that was contributing to neighborhood decay. Unsurprisingly, communities of color were most often underserved. The data mortgage lenders are required to report includes the location of the mortgaged property and the race and income levels of borrowers. 

Removing the technology platforms would be extremely disempowering to the average citizen. This type of analysis can show whether a specific kind of consumer or community is being underserved and provide them with evidence to help advocate for safer and more affordable mortgage products.

To help us push back against the Bureau’s attempt to make this information less accessible to the public, please sign your organization on to Prosperity Now’s letter of opposition that we plan to submit to the Bureau next week. Understanding who is getting mortgage loans and the type of loans offered helps working families look out for their best interests and build a stronger financial future.  

The deadline for sign ons is 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

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