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/

Prepare Your Credit Union for Changes in HMDA Data Collection Rules (Part 1)

Mortgage-App-Approval-HMDA-Wolters-KluwerBy Edward Kramer, Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

In 2015, expectations loom large for lenders around finalization of rules for the new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data collection requirements.

Created as part of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), the regulation authorizes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to expand the current HMDA dataset in order to help “financial regulators and public officials keep a watchful eye on emerging trends and problem areas in the mortgage market.”

CFPB Seeks More Data Transparency and Timeliness

The proposed changes include required reporting of 37 new data fields, including 20 not currently required under Dodd-Frank. Those 20 fields represent additional information that the CFPB proposes to collect for analytical purposes, including:

  • Detailed property location information
  • Total points and fees
  • Rate spread for all loans
  • Information on loan features such as teasers and introductory rates, and
  • Applicant’s age and credit score

In addition, the CFPB proposes to collect data such as:

  • Borrower’s debt-to-income ratio
  • Combined loan-to-value ratio
  • Loan’s qualified mortgage status, and
  • Inclusion of manufactured housing in collateral

When the CFPB proposed the expanded HMDA data collection specifications in the summer of 2014, it argued for the need for greater transparency and timely access to regulate lending activity, citing concerns that “under the current regime, HMDA data may be reported as many as 14 months after final action is taken on an application or loan.”

Consequently, for financial institutions reporting at least 75,000 covered loans per year, which accounts for the vast majority of loan application registrations in the annual HMDA files, the new rules would require submission of HMDA data on a quarterly rather than annual basis. The CFPB estimates that this specific reporting provision would impact about 28 financial institutions that combined would report about 50% of all HMDA-reported transactions.

Potential for Data Misinterpretation Causes Concern for Many

The regulatory landscape changed dramatically with the 1975 enactment of HMDA and then again with the passage of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”). The latest proposed regulatory changes may have an equal or greater impact on institutions affected by the proposal. This observation is borne out in the anxiety over the new data reporting requirements evident in the October 2014 Regulatory & Risk Management Indicator report, conducted by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.

According to the report, U.S. credit unions and banks specifically point to the Dodd-Frank Act and the associated HMDA data collection requirements as among their chief concerns. The new data collected will unleash a flood of additional public scrutiny of mortgage lending. And that development, by extension, will likely generate a new level of criticism of the mortgage industry, including credit unions, from those interpreting the newly available data.

It is clear from its recent enforcement actions and guidance that the CFPB holds accurate HMDA data as central to fair lending compliance and its ability to enforce fair lending laws. Inaccurate HMDA data will only serve to mislead the public and will not be tolerated. That said, the additional data, however accurately reported, will be an insufficient basis on which to ground definitive conclusions about discrimination on a prohibited basis. But, the data will generate more room for error as it gets interpreted – or misinterpreted – by regulators, analysts, and the public.

Tim Burniston EVP Wolters Kluwer Talks HMDAStay tuned for part 2 of this series to get additional insights about HMDA compliance and technology challenges and a list of key tips you can use to help prepare your credit union for these changes. Get a sneak peak of the tips by watching Tim Burniston, Executive VP at Wolters Kluwer highlight the HMDA changes in the short video, 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/

Credit Unions Need to Know KBYO

Originally posted on CUInsight.com.

Guest post written by John Levonick, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Accenture Mortgage Cadence

Accenture Mortgage Cadence is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Mortgage Processing and Fulfillment Services.

Join compliance specialists, John Levonick and Suzanne Garwood, as they discuss The 7th Rule: Unintended Consequences of the New, “Simplified” Mortgage Disclosures” on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm–3:30 pm ET.

Know Before You Owe (KBYO), the new mortgage disclosure regulation, does not take effect until August 2015.  So why talk about it now? This change in mortgage disclosures is sweeping, and, in many respects, bigger than the Qualified Mortgage (QM) and Ability to Repay (ATR) Rules.  Its complexity and broad range poses significant challenges for mortgage originators.

First things first:  Know Before You Owe, a product of the Dodd-Frank legislation, introduces two new disclosures: the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure.   The Loan Estimate is designed to provide disclosures that help borrowers understand the key features, costs, and risks of the mortgage loan for which they are applying.  It must be issued within three days of loan application.  So far so good; this is the same requirement that is in place today for the Truth-in-Lending (TIL) and Good Faith Estimates (GFE).  The big change, however, is that the Loan Estimate replaces the TIL and GFE forms that every lender (and every borrower that has taken out at least one mortgage) knows well.

The Closing Disclosure is designed to provide information that helps borrowers understand all of the costs of the transaction. It must be received by the borrower three business days prior to the closing date.  The HUD-1 and TIL that is due at closing is replaced by the Closing Disclosure. These forms, too, are familiar to every lender and seasoned borrower.

The implications of KBYO are broad and touch every corner of the mortgage origination process.  So, in setting priorities in the areas of people, process and technology, where should lenders focus first?  The short answer is technology.  While QM and ATR were technologically challenging — with some platforms managing them better than others – KBYO is even more so because of the way it handles the costs borrowers typically encounter when taking out a mortgage loan.  Dealing with KBYO is a major undertaking.

People, both internal and external, should be the second focus for KBYO implementation.   Mortgage teams must re-learn and translate all they know from the Truth-in-Lending, Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 forms.  Every mortgage lender knows them well and can explain them thoroughly.  As of August 1, 2015 these forms become a part of mortgage history.  Training staff well is a critical first step, because the next step is educating borrowers.  First-time borrowers, of course, are unaffected.  Since they have never seen a TIL, GFE or HUD-1, they will not be surprised by the new disclosures. Repeat borrowers are another story altogether, especially those who have financed or refinanced a home more than once.  The Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure will be completely foreign to them, so it will be essential to have a well-trained and well-prepared lending staff to put them at ease.

Know Before You Owe affects mortgage origination in a number of ways, so process should be the third area of concentration.  It is important to have the right technology (and trained people) in place before tackling processes.  Technology drives the flow of most mortgage operations and the right technology is essential to refining the processes needed to address the new regulations.

While 16 months may seem like a long time from now, objects on the horizon are closer than they appear.  Now is the time to get to know Know Before You Owe, and to start making sure that your mortgage technology is ready when – or better yet, before – this complex and sweeping regulation takes effect.

Vintage Strategies for a Prosperous 2014

Originally posted on cuinsight.com.

Guest post written by Dan Green, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Mortgage Cadence, LLC

Mortgage Cadence, LLC is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Mortgage Processing and Fulfillment Services.

Last month we introduced part one of vintage strategies with the idea of providing mortgage lenders five ideas for a successful new year. Part one provided the first two strategies. Part two presents the remaining three.

In January’s article, we discussed the importance of recognizing market differences. There are many, and they are varied. From rising rates to complex regulatory oversight to increased purchase activity, one thing is clear: times have changed. When first-timers decide to purchase a home, they will think first about the lender who took the time to educate them about home ownership. This means that lenders need to implement strategies to foster those relationships now for continued success in the years ahead. This brought us to our second strategy: adapt to borrower behavior. If borrower allegiance was in question prior to 2007, no doubt today’s fickle borrower is likely to be even less. Thriving lenders will have to adapt, aggressively converting applications to closed loans at much higher rates through better borrower nurturing and increased transparency throughout the mortgage origination cycle.

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The Dreaded Question, Part II

Originally posted on cuinsight.com.

Guest post written by Dan Green, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Mortgage Cadence, LLC

Mortgage Cadence, LLC is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Mortgage Processing and Fulfillment Services.

In a recent blog post, I posed the “dreaded question”: Where do homebuyers come from? Quick review. They come from three places: non-owner/non-renters (NONRs), renters, and current homeowners. First-time homebuyers emerge from the first two categories while those interested in buying a different or another home come from the third. Pretty obvious, really, though the “dreaded question” is worth contemplating. We have been so focused on refinancing existing loans for the past several years, and now that it is coming to an end, it’s time to make way for those who should, for many reasons, be buying homes. The market has shifted its focus, and it’s time for us to shift our thinking.

They are not, however, buying homes—not first-timers or repeaters—though they should be. While the reasons the housing market has not yet rebounded since the end of the refinance boom are the same for both first-timers and repeaters, we’ll concentrate on the first-timers.

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