The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) requires financial institutions to publicly report data about mortgages and other home loans that they extend. In 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new rule that exempts thousands of financial institutions from reporting this data, which is a key tool for fighting housing discrimination. Specifically, by dramatically increasing the threshold for required reporting, the rule reduces the availability of data that the public and public officials have used to combat redlining and other fair lending and fair housing violations, making identifying such practices more difficult.
Public Citizen represents the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), several fair-housing organizations, and the City of Toledo in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the CFPB rule. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the rule unlawful and set it aside because the CFPB failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its change in position, conducted a flawed analysis of the costs and benefits of the rule, did not meaningfully address factors it is required by statute to consider, failed to adequately consider comments submitted in opposition to the rule, and relied on considerations that have no sound basis in law.
In September 2022, the district court decided the parties’ motions for summary judgment. Although the court ruled for the agency as to the portions of the rule addressing open-end lines of credit, the agreed with us as to the portions of the 2020 rule addressing mortgage loans and vacated those parts of the rule.