On March 6, 2020 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau added a new question and answer to its Home Mortgage Disclosure Act FAQs. The new Question 7. appears under the heading Ethnicity, Race, and Sex and § 1003.4(a)(10)(i)
Question: If a natural person applicant submits a mail, internet, or telephone application under Regulation C but does not provide race, ethnicity, or sex information, what should the financial institution report regarding whether this information was collected on the basis of visual observation or surname?
Answer: Regulation C, 12 CFR § 1003.4(a)(10)(i), requires that a financial institution collect the ethnicity, race, and sex of a natural person applicant or borrower, and collect whether this information was collected on the basis of visual observation or surname. Where a natural person applicant does not provide ethnicity, race, or sex information for a mail, internet, or telephone application, and a financial institution does not have an opportunity to collect this information during an in person meeting during the application process, the financial institution may report either that the information was not collected on the basis of visual observation or surname (code 2) or that the requirement to report this data field is not applicable (code 3).
For consistency of data across all HMDA reporting financial institutions, the Bureau suggests, but does not require, that financial institutions use code 2.
Appendix B to Part 1003 provides instructions and a sample form for data collection on ethnicity, race, and sex.