Prepare Your Credit Union for Changes in HMDA Data Collection Rules (Part 2)

Prepare Your Credit Union for HMDA ChangesBy Edward Kramer, Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

In part I of this series, the new data fields that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) seeks to collect for more HMDA reporting transparency and timeliness and concerns about potential misinterpretation of newly collected data was addressed.

To wrap-up, we will consider the known and unknown factors related to this regulatory change and conclude with a list of key tips you can use to prepare your credit union for these pending changes.

Imminent Compliance and Technology Challenges Are Clear

Although most industry observers expect issuance of the final regulation sometime in 2015, we don’t yet know which specific data fields will be included, nor the amount of time institutions will have to prepare before the requirements go into effect. We also do not know if or how much of any additional data collected will be made public by the regulators.

Protecting the privacy of personally identifiable financial information should be a priority. The inclusion of items such as credit scores, borrower age, and other personal data may raise legitimate privacy concerns, particularly if it becomes possible to identify a specific consumer by combining the new data with other publicly available data.

Despite the unknowns, one thing is certain:  the extent and breadth of the proposed new data collection fields will be considerable.  They will impose significant regulatory compliance and information technology challenges on mortgage lenders.

How Your Credit Union Can Prepare

Whatever requirements are ultimately adopted, lenders will need to evaluate their current data collection capabilities, identify gaps, and make needed investments to be compliant.  What impact will this have for your credit union’s staffing decisions, training, vendor support, and technology infrastructure—and how can you begin to prepare for these changes?

While the specifics have not yet been announced, you needn’t wait before initiating some preparatory action: 

  • Plan now for the increased data capture requirements and remember that data integrity is essential
    The changes coming will be sweeping and broad, impacting your organization in many ways. Minimally, these changes will include all new data fields outlined in the Dodd-Frank legislation—and likely, many if not all of the CFPB’s additional proposed data fields—so make sure your preparation is underway.
  • Identify all lines of business impacted by the HMDA changes
    Determine how you will organize these lines of business so that your efforts are coordinated. Ensure that all individuals responsible for implementation are connected and developing a plan of action so your organization is as ready as it can be once the final rules are announced.
  • Identify and prepare for any needed staff training
    Determine what your enterprise methodology and approach will be to manage the implementation. It’s never too early to start planning when it comes to staff training.
  • Strengthen and bolster your analytics capabilities
    The last thing you want is to submit data to the government that you haven’t already fully analyzed.  Given resource constraints, lenders might be best served in outsourcing their data analytics needs to a capable vendor.  But, whether you manage this function internally or through a third party, know the implications of that data for your organization—and how you plan to go about addressing any problems found in the analysis.  You don’t want others analyzing and interpreting your findings in advance of conducting your own comprehensive review.
  • Conduct a root cause analysis on questionable cases
    If your analyses uncover indicators of potential disparate treatment or impact of protected classes, conduct a root cause analysis to determine the extent of the problem and what is causing it. Then fix it.

Accept the fact that whatever implementation timeline is ultimately defined, the transition time for Tim Burniston EVP Wolters Kluwer Talks HMDAmanaging a regulatory change of this magnitude can never really be sufficient. But with some thoughtful and concerted advance preparation, you will be best positioned to ease some of the challenges in transitioning effectively to the new requirements.

Watch and share this short video of Tim Burniston, Executive VP at Wolters Kluwer, speaking about 4 key ideas to prepare for HMDA changes: New HMDA Fields Coming – Are You Ready?

Wolters Kluwer Financial ServicesWolters Kluwer Financial Services is NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for consumer and member business lending and deposit services. For more information on Wolters Kluwer’s products and services, visit http://www.nafcu.org/wolterskluwer/