Consumer bureau announces $1.75 million civil money penalty against Freedom Mortgage Corporation, cites HMDA violations

A fine of $1.75 million was assessed against Freedom Mortgage Corporation, one of the 10 largest Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporters nationwide, in connection with a settlement announced Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The CFPB said that according to the consent order, the bureau found that Freedom violated HMDA and Regulation C by submitting mortgage-loan data for 2014 to 2017 that contained errors.  One of the violations involved managers directing certain loan officers, when mortgage loan applicants did not provide their race or ethnicity, to select non-Hispanic white “regardless of whether that was accurate,” the bureau said

“The Bureau found that Freedom reported inaccurate race, ethnicity, and sex information and that much of Freedom’s loan officers’ recording of this incorrect information was intentional,” it said.

Freedom is a mortgage lender with its principal place of business in Mount Laurel, N.J. The CFPB said that for each year from 2013 through 2016, it originated more than 50,000 home-purchase loans, including refinancings of home-purchase loans.

The bureau said that under the terms of the consent order, Freedom must pay a civil money penalty of $1.75 million and take steps to improve its compliance management to prevent future violations.

Consent order

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Settles with Freedom Mortgage Corporation