WASHINGTON Feb 7 U.S. regulators plan to seek
input on how to improve public data used to spot discriminatory
lending and other possible abuses in the mortgage market, the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on Friday.
Lenders already must report loan amounts and some
information about borrowers and their homes under a 1975 law.
That data, parts of which are made public, help regulators spot
possible unfair lending patterns.
The consumer bureau, or CFPB, wants to beef up that data so
it can see more potential problems in the markets, as well as
track how its sweeping new rules for lenders affect borrowers'
ability to get loans.
The CFPB plans to ask small businesses for feedback on what
information to collect and to ask for tips on how to make
gathering that data less onerous for small firms.
"One of the main purposes of this effort is to gain greater
insight into issues about access to credit," CFPB Director
Richard Cordray told reporters.
Congress created the consumer bureau under the 2010
Dodd-Frank financial law and gave it oversight of mortgages
after sloppy - and sometimes fraudulent - lending practices
fueled the 2007-2009 housing crisis.
After the crisis, experts said regulators often did not have
enough insight into housing markets to spot abusive practices
before the bubble burst. So lawmakers also directed the bureau
to update data reporting rules to get a better picture of
Under the Dodd-Frank changes, lenders need to disclose the
length of loans, total fees, any teaser rates and borrowers'
credit scores, in addition to the mortgage information they
already hand over.
On top of those required changes, the consumer bureau wants
lenders to share the interest rates they charge and total
origination fees, and to explain any rejected applications.
The CFPB also wants lenders to disclose whether loans they
issue are considered "qualified mortgages."
These basic loans are carved out from some of the bureau's
new rules for mortgage lending. Some critics of the bureau have
said lenders might only issue loans that fit this definition,
preventing some worthy borrowers from getting a mortgage.
"This information would help regulators and the public
determine how the bureau's rules are affecting the mortgage
market," Cordray said.
The bureau plans to run all these ideas by a small business
panel before formally proposing any changes, he said.
In order to make the new rules easier for small firms, the
CFPB said it also wants to know how it could align the new data
reporting with information banks already collect and make sure
similarly sized banks and nonbanks face the same requirements.