On September 20, 2017 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published final revisions to Regulation B, which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), to provide additional flexibility for mortgage lenders in the collection of consumer ethnicity and race information.
Regulation B includes restrictions regarding lenders’ ability to ask consumers about their race, color, religion, national origin or sex, except in certain circumstances. These circumstances include required collection of the information for some mortgage applications under Regulation B.
The changes provide compliance flexibility for individual mortgage lenders, and also support the broader mortgage industry’s ability to use consistent forms and compliance practices. The revised rule allows creditors to collect the applicant’s information using either the aggregate ethnicity and race categories (as the information appears on the old Uniform Residential Mortgage Application (URLA) form) or disaggregated ethnicity and race categories and subcategories (as the information appears on the revised URLA).
The rule also makes certain changes to the Regulation B Appendix B – Model Forms. The rule provides two options: a model form for collecting aggregate applicant race and ethnicity information and a cross-reference to the Regulation C appendix model form for collecting disaggregated applicant race and ethnicity information. The rule also removes as outdated the existing version of the URLA contained in the Regulation B appendix, effective January 1, 2022. The rule does not add the 2016 URLA to the Regulation B appendix; that form is subject to a separate Federal Register notice issued by the CFPB acknowledging its compliance with certain provisions of Regulation B.
The 65-page final rule is available at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201709_cfpb_final-rule_regulation-b.pdf