CFPB’s Uejio directs end to COVID-19-related ‘pause’ on quarterly HMDA reporting, data collections; will review past reg actions against consumer protection mission

The acting director of the consumer financial protection agency directed staff to end the agency’s “pause” implemented around the start of the COVID-19 pandemic on quarterly Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporting, CARD Act data collection and more, according to a recent message to staff released to the public Thursday.

Dave Uejio, named the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) acting director by President Joe Biden, in his blog post Thursday also noted his desire to retain maximum flexibility for Biden’s nominee as bureau director and plan to review past regulatory actions against how they fit with the bureau’s consumer protection mission.

The message provided the bureau’s Division of Research, Markets, and Regulations (RMR) with Uejio’s broad vision for that group. Within that broad-ranging message was direction that RMR take the following immediate steps:

  • Prepare an analysis on housing insecurity, including mortgage foreclosures, mobile home repossessions, and landlord-tenant evictions;
  • Prepare an analysis of the most pressing consumer finance barriers to racial equity to inform research and rulemaking priorities;
  • Explicitly include in policy proposals the racial equity impact of the policy intervention; and
  • Resume data collections paused at the beginning of the pandemic, including HMDA quarterly reporting and the CARD Act data collection, as well as the previously completed 1071 data collection (on the cost to financial institutions of small-business lending data collection) and the ongoing PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy financing) data collection.

Uejio directed the RMR division to focus rulemaking on the pandemic response “and to preserve, where possible, maximum policy flexibility for the president’s nominee once confirmed.” To that end, he directed that the division focus the mortgage servicing rulemaking on pandemic response to avert, to the extent possible, a foreclosure crisis when the COVID-19 forbearances end in March and April; and explore options for preserving the status quo with respect to qualified mortgage (QM) and debt collection rules.

More generally, he said he would assess previous leadership’s regulatory actions and “adjust as necessary and appropriate those not in line with our consumer protection mission and mandate.”

This was the second time that Uejio has taken his directives to staff public; the previous such release focused on supervision.

Blog post: The Bureau is working hard to address housing insecurity, promote racial equity, and protect small businesses’ access to credit

RR: CFPB acting director promises ‘aggressive action’ in response to COVID-19 relief violations by providers (Jan. 28, 2021)