Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C); Reopening of Comment Period

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 149 (Friday, August 2, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 149 (Friday, August 2, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 37804-37806]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-16190]
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BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION
12 CFR Part 1003
[Docket No. CFPB-2019-0021]
RIN 3170-AA76
Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C); Reopening of Comment
Period
AGENCY: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
ACTION: Reopening of comment period with request for public comment.
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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is
reopening the comment period for specific aspects of the proposed rule
published by the Bureau in the Federal Register on May 13, 2019 (May
2019 Proposal). The May 2019 Proposal proposed amendments to Regulation
C relating to the coverage thresholds for reporting data on closed-end
mortgage loans and open-end lines of credit and partial exemptions
under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). To facilitate the
potential revisions of the thresholds that the Bureau proposed to take
effect on January 1, 2020, the Bureau used a 30-day comment period,
which ended on June 12, 2019. Later this summer, the national loan
level dataset for 2018 and the Bureau's annual overview of residential
mortgage lending based on that data (collectively, the 2018 HMDA Data)
will be released. Stakeholders have asked to submit comments on the May
2019 Proposal that reflect the 2018 HMDA Data. To allow for the
submission of such comments, the Bureau now reopens the comment period
on certain aspects of the proposal until October 15, 2019.
DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule published May 13, 2019,
at 84 FR 20972, is reopened with respect to the proposed changes
relating to the permanent coverage thresholds for closed-end mortgage
loans and open-end lines of credit in Sec. Sec.  1003.2(g)(1)(v) and
(g)(2)(ii) and 1003.3(c)(11) and (c)(12) and related commentary.
Comments must be received by October 15, 2019.
ADDRESSES: You may submit responsive information and other comments,
identified by Docket No. CFPB-2019-0021 or RIN 3170-AA76, by any of the
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected]. Include Docket
No. CFPB-2019-0021 or RIN 3170-AA76 in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Comment Intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial
Protection, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment Intake, Bureau of Consumer
Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.
    Instructions: The Bureau encourages the early submission of
comments. All submissions should include the agency name and docket
number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking.
Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Bureau is
subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments
electronically. In general, all comments received will be posted
without change to http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, comments
will be available for public inspection and copying at 1700 G Street
NW, Washington, DC 20552, on official business days between the hours
of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You can make an appointment
to inspect the documents by telephoning 202-435-7275.
[[Page 37805]]
    All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials,
will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure.
Proprietary information or sensitive personal information, such as
account numbers or Social Security numbers, or names of other
individuals, should not be included. Comments will not be edited to
remove any identifying or contact information.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jaydee DiGiovanni or Shaakira Gold-
Ramirez, Counsels; or Amanda Quester or Alexandra Reimelt, Senior
Counsels, Office of Regulations, at 202-435-7700 or https://reginquiries.consumerfinance.gov/. If you require this document in an
alternative electronic format, please contact
[email protected].
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. Background
    On May 2, 2019, the Bureau issued a notice of proposed rulemaking
at 84 FR 20972 (May 2019 Proposal) relating to Regulation C's coverage
thresholds and the partial exemptions under HMDA and requested public
comment.\1\ The May 2019 Proposal was published in the Federal Register
on May 13, 2019.
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    \1\ Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C), 84 FR 20972 (May
13, 2019). On the same date, the Bureau also issued an advance
notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit comment, data, and
information from the public relating to the data points that the
Bureau's October 2015 final rule added to Regulation C or revised to
require additional information and Regulation C's coverage of
certain business- or commercial-purpose transactions. Home Mortgage
Disclosure (Regulation C) Data Points and Coverage, 89 FR 20049 (May
8, 2019); see also Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C), 80 FR
66128 (Oct. 28, 2015). The ANPR was published in the Federal
Register on May 8, 2019.
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    In the May 2019 Proposal, the Bureau proposed two alternatives to
amend Regulation C to increase the current 25-loan coverage threshold
for reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans so that institutions
originating fewer than either 50 closed-end mortgage loans, or
alternatively 100 closed-end mortgage loans, in either of the two
preceding calendar years would not have to report such data. The May
2019 Proposal proposed an effective date of January 1, 2020 for any
amendment to the closed-end coverage threshold. The May 2019 Proposal
would also adjust the coverage threshold for reporting data about open-
end lines of credit by (a) extending to January 1, 2022 the current
temporary coverage threshold of 500 open-end lines of credit, and (b)
setting the permanent coverage threshold at 200 open-end lines of
credit upon the expiration of the proposed extension of the temporary
coverage threshold. In the May 2019 Proposal, the Bureau also proposed
to incorporate into Regulation C the interpretations and procedures
from the interpretive and procedural rule that the Bureau issued on
August 31, 2018 to implement and clarify section 104(a) of the Economic
Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA),\2\
and proposed to make other changes to effectuate section 104(a).
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    \2\ Partial Exemptions from the Requirements of the Home
Mortgage Disclosure Act Under the Economic Growth, Regulatory
Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Regulation C), 83 FR 45325
(Sept. 7, 2018).
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    To facilitate the potential revisions of the thresholds that the
Bureau proposed to take effect on January 1, 2020, the Bureau used a
30-day comment period for the May 2019 Proposal, which ended on June
12, 2019.\3\ The Bureau received over 300 comments. Among the comments
received were a number of letters expressing concern that the 2018 HMDA
Data would not be available until after the close of the comment period
for the May 2019 Proposal. These commenters noted that the 2018 HMDA
Data includes data points that were reported for the first time under
the Bureau's October 2015 HMDA final rule and stated that access to the
2018 HMDA Data would enable the public to comment more precisely on the
data that would be lost if the proposed changes were finalized. For
example, a group of 18 consumer advocacy and other non-profit
organizations asked the Bureau to reissue the May 2019 Proposal and
allow for a new 90-day comment period after the release of the 2018
HMDA Data.\4\ A State attorney general expressed concern that the May
2019 Proposal asked the public to provide comment on the efficacy of
data it has yet to see. An industry commenter stated that analysis of
the 2018 HMDA Data was necessary so as to gain an accurate
understanding of how changes to the coverage thresholds would affect
regulators and current HMDA reporters.
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    \3\ A separate comment period related to the Paperwork Reduction
Act closed on July 12, 2019.
    \4\ In addition to asking that the NPRM be reissued with a 90-
day comment period, the comment from 18 non-profit organizations
further requested that the Bureau reissue the ANPR to allow for
comment informed by the 2018 HMDA Data. A group of three industry
trade associations separately asked that the Bureau extend the ANPR
comment period from 60 to 90 days so that, among other things, they
would have sufficient time to survey their members about the
questions presented in the ANPR. On June 27, the Bureau extended the
ANPR comment period to October 15, 2019. 84 FR 31746 (July 3, 2019).
In doing so, the Bureau explained that it expects the 2018 HMDA Data
to be released in late summer and that the extension of the ANPR
comment period to October 15, 2019 would allow interested parties
adequate time to consider the 2018 HMDA Data before submitting their
comments on the ANPR.
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II. Discussion and Request for Comment
    The Bureau has balanced the potential benefits from allowing
interested parties additional time to consider the 2018 HMDA Data in
commenting on the May 2019 Proposal with the Bureau's desire to
finalize certain aspects of the May 2019 Proposal expeditiously. The
Bureau expects the 2018 HMDA Data to be released in late summer. In
light of these factors, the Bureau has decided that reopening certain
aspects of the May 2019 Proposal for a limited period of time to
comment is appropriate, as discussed below.\5\ The Bureau does not,
however, believe it is necessary or appropriate to reissue the May 2019
Proposal with a new 90-day comment period as the letter from 18 non-
profit organizations requested. Instead, the Bureau will reopen the
comment period on certain aspects of the NPRM until October 15, 2019,
so comments can reflect the 2018 HMDA Data without interposing
substantial delay in the adoption of any new permanent thresholds.
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    \5\ The Bureau has not received requests for additional time
with regard to the separate comment period relating to the Paperwork
Reduction Act, which closed on July 12, 2019, and is not reopening
that aspect of the May 2019 Proposal for comment.
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A. Provisions the Bureau Is Reopening for Comment
    The Bureau believes that it would be useful to have public comment
on the 2018 HMDA Data in considering where to set the permanent
coverage thresholds for closed-end mortgage loans and open-end lines of
credit. For example, the new data may shed light on the number of
institutions and percentage of market activity covered at different
potential coverage thresholds and the value of the data that would not
be reported if the thresholds were increased. The Bureau is therefore
reopening the comment period and requesting comment on the Bureau's
proposed changes to the permanent coverage thresholds for closed-end
mortgage loans and open-end lines of credit. The relevant aspects are:
(1) The proposed amendments to the permanent closed-end coverage
threshold in Sec. Sec.  1003.2(g)(1)(v)(A) and (g)(2)(ii)(A) and
1003.3(c)(11), and comments 2(g)-1, 2(g)-5, 3(c)(11)-1, and 3(c)(11)-2,
that the Bureau proposed would take effect on January 1, 2020, and (2)
the proposed amendments to the permanent open-end coverage threshold in
Sec. Sec.  1003.2(g)(1)(v)(B) and (g)(2)(ii)(B) and 1003.3(c)(12) and
2(g)-3 and 2(g)-5 and
[[Page 37806]]
3(c)(12)-1 and 3(c)(12)-2 that the Bureau proposed would take effect
January 1, 2022.
    Due to the reopening of the comment period on the permanent closed-
end coverage threshold, the Bureau will not be able to finalize any
change to the closed-end coverage threshold in time to take effect on
the Bureau's originally proposed effective date of January 1, 2020. The
Bureau therefore requests additional comment on the appropriate
effective date for any change to the closed-end coverage threshold,
should the Bureau decide to finalize a change. Specifically, the Bureau
requests comment on the costs and benefits of a mid-year effective date
during 2020 (e.g., May 2020) versus a January 1, 2021 effective
date.\6\ With respect to the alternative of a mid-year effective date
during 2020, the Bureau also requests comment on the costs and benefits
of specific days of the week or times of the month, quarter, or year
for a new closed-end coverage threshold to take effect and whether
there are any other considerations that the Bureau should address in a
final rule if it were to adopt a mid-year effective date. Regarding the
effective date for a permanent open-end coverage threshold, reopening
the comment period will still allow the Bureau to issue a final rule to
adjust the permanent open-end coverage threshold effective January 1,
2022, as the Bureau proposed in the May 2019 Proposal, should the
Bureau choose to do so.
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    \6\ If the Bureau adopted a mid-year effective date during 2020,
affected institutions would be required to collect closed-end
mortgage loan data for only part of 2020, and the Bureau could make
reporting of such data optional in early 2021.
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    As discussed below, the Bureau has already received comment on the
proposed two-year extension of the temporary coverage threshold for
open-end lines of credit and the proposed amendments to incorporate the
EGRRCPA's partial exemptions into Regulation C. The Bureau is not
soliciting comment during the reopened comment period on these issues,
and any further such comments will be considered outside of the scope
of this request for public comment. The Bureau encourages commenters to
limit their submissions accordingly to (1) the Bureau's proposed
changes to the permanent coverage threshold for closed-end mortgage
loans, (2) the Bureau's proposed changes to the permanent coverage
threshold for open-end lines of credit, and (3) the appropriate
effective date for any change to the closed-end coverage threshold. The
reopened comment period will close on October 15, 2019, which will
allow interested parties adequate time to consider the 2018 HMDA Data
after its release in late summer. Comments on the proposed rule that
were previously submitted during the initial comment period, which
ended on June 12, 2019, remain part of the rulemaking docket and
therefore do not need to be resubmitted for the Bureau to consider
them.
B. Provisions the Bureau Is Not Reopening for Comment
    The Bureau has decided not to reopen the comment period with
respect to the May 2019 Proposal's proposed two-year extension of the
temporary open-end threshold. As discussed in the May 2019 Proposal,
the proposed extension would provide the Bureau with additional time to
assess how a requirement to report open-end lines of credit would
affect institutions whose origination volume falls just above the
proposed threshold of 200 open-end lines of credit.\7\ The proposed
extension would also provide any newly covered institutions with
sufficient time to revise and update policies and procedures, implement
any necessary systems changes, and train staff before the proposed
threshold of 200 lines of credit would take effect in 2022. The Bureau
does not believe that additional comment on the 2018 HMDA Data is
necessary for the Bureau to determine whether to finalize the proposed
two-year extension of the open-end threshold. The Bureau expects to
issue a final rule in the fall of 2019 indicating whether it will
extend the temporary open-end coverage threshold so that, if finalized,
the extension can take effect as proposed on January 1, 2020.
Therefore, the Bureau is not reopening that portion of the proposal for
further comment relating to the 2018 HMDA Data.
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    \7\ 84 FR 20972, 20982 (May 13, 2019).
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    The Bureau also does not believe that additional comment on the
2018 HMDA Data is necessary for its consideration of the provisions in
the May 2019 Proposal that would incorporate the EGRRCPA partial
exemptions into Regulation C and further implement EGRRCPA section
104(a). The Bureau is proposing to implement the new statutory partial
exemptions that Congress established in EGRRCPA section 104(a), and the
Bureau does not believe that comment on the 2018 HMDA Data would assist
it in determining how to implement the new statutory partial
exemptions. To provide further clarity on the new partial exemptions as
quickly as possible, the Bureau anticipates that it will address the
proposed amendments relating to the partial exemptions in a final rule
issued in the fall of 2019.
    Dated: July 23, 2019.
Kathleen L. Kraninger,
Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2019-16190 Filed 8-1-19; 8:45 am]
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