$1.75 Million HMDA Penalty For Submitting False Information
On June 5, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had settled with Freedom Mortgage Corporation (Freedom) over Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) violations. The CFPB found that Freedom, one of the ten largest HMDA reporters nationwide, inaccurately reported HMDA data between 2014 and 2017. There were widespread instances of Freedom loan officers being told by managers or other loan officers that when applicants did not provide their race or ethnicity, they should select non-Hispanic white, regardless of whether that was accurate. In another approximately 300 instances, Freedom incorrectly reported applicants as non-Hispanic white even though the applicants provided requested race or ethnicity information other than non-Hispanic white, overstating the number of non-Hispanic white applicants. In addition to remedial steps, Freedom was ordered to pay a civil money penalty of $1.75 million.
John Zasada, JD, CAMS – Regulatory Consulting Director, Financial Institutions Group