CFPB blog explains data sources for recent TILA, RESPA rule assessments

The two assessments released last week of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) 2013 rules on mortgage lending and servicing were performed using a variety of data collected over the previous two years by the bureau’s research office, according to a blog post one day following the release of the assessment reports.

David Silberman, an associate director in the CFPB’s research, markets and regulation office, focused in his post on the CFPB’s five-year assessments of the ability-to-repay/qualified mortgage (ATR/QM) rule, which revised Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act, or TILA) and the mortgage servicing rule, which revised Regulation X (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA). Both rules were promulgated under requirement of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), which requires the bureau to assess the effectiveness of each significant rule or order and to publish findings no later than five years after its effective date. (Both the ATM/QM and mortgage servicing rules addressed here took effect in 2014.)

Noting that researchers developed and solicited public comment on their research plans, Silberman gave an overview of the kinds of data that helped shape the assessments. He said researchers determined that the effects of the rules could be studied to an extent through public and commercially available data. Also, he wrote that:

  • In the case of the ATR/QM rule, data was also obtained via the National Mortgage Database that was developed by the CFPB in collaboration with the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
  • Regarding the mortgage servicing rule, the bureau also obtained a unique dataset comprised of deidentified, loan-level data from a number of servicers. For the ATR/QM rule, it obtained a separate dataset of deidentified application-level data from a number of creditors.
  • Researchers supplemented all the above with, among other things, results from a survey conducted by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors; by surveying lenders, housing counselors, and legal aid attorneys; by conducting structured interviews with a number of servicers; and by reviewing of public comments received on bureau requests for information.

Silberman reiterated the bureau’s desire to receive input from stakeholders on the two rule assessments. “We are interested in hearing reactions from stakeholders to the reports’ methodologies, findings, and conclusions,” he wrote. “The Bureau anticipates that continued interaction with stakeholders will help inform our future assessments as well as future policy decisions.”

Assessing our rules: Our reports on the Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule and the RESPA Mortgage Servicing Rule (Jan. 11, 2019)

TILA Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule Assessment Report

RESPA Servicing Rule Assessment Report