On August 24, the CFPB issued a final rule amending Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The changes are primarily for the purpose of clarifying the new data collection and reporting requirements published in October 2015, with most of the clarifications and revisions taking effect January 1, 2018. The CFPB released a proposed version of the clarifications on April 13 (April Proposed Rule)—on which it solicited public comments—to address technical errors, ease the burden of certain reporting requirements, and clarify certain key terms. A detailed look at the April Proposed Rule was provided in an InfoBytes Special Alert earlier this year. An additional request for comments was issued July 14 on proposed amendments to ease the burden on community banks and credit unions by temporary raising the HMDA reporting threshold for open-end lines of credit. (See previous InfoBytes coverage here.) The CFPB adopted the April Proposed Rule and July amendments largely as written, however, a limited number of substantive changes were made. In order to assist filers, the CFPB released a comprehensive summary of the changes and reference charts to help institutions determine whether they are covered by Regulation C for 2017 or 2018 and beyond. The CFPB also released updated filing instruction guidelines for data collected in 2017 and 2018. The guidelines list changes to the reported data fields and valid values, and covers guidance for HMDA data collected in 2017 and thereafter that must be submitted to the CFPB on March 1 of each calendar year following the year of data collection.

Highlights of changes made to the rule include:

  • Amendments to Regulation C that temporarily increase the threshold for the collection and reporting of data about open-end lines of credit, for a period of two years. Financial institutions originating fewer than 500 open-end lines of credit in either 2018 or 2019 will not be obligated to begin collecting such data until January 1, 2020. During this time, the Bureau will consider whether to make the increase permanent;
  • Clarification to several aspects concerning the collecting and reporting of race and ethnicity information, including t (i) that applicants are not required to select an aggregate race or ethnicity category as a precondition to selecting a race or ethnicity subcategories; (ii) that applicants may provide a particular “other” ethnicity or race in the free-form field, whether or not the applicant selects the “Other Hispanic or Latino,” “Other Asian,” or “Other Pacific Island” subcategory; and (iii) how financial institutions should report ethnicity—following the outlined methods—if an applicant selects more than five ethnicity categories and subcategories combined; and
  • Clarification to certain key terms defined in the 2015 HMDA Rule, including “temporary financing, automated underwriting system, multifamily dwelling, extension of credit, income, and mixed-use property.”

Buckley Sandler will release a more comprehensive analysis of the rule and its impact on financial institutions next week.