Daily Dashboard

Do Mortgage Applications Require Too Much Info?

FINANCIAL PRIVACY—U.S.

September 24, 2010

"How easy is it for someone to learn all about you from your mortgage loan application?" the Chicago Tribune asks in a report on privacy questions about the annual reporting of such data to regulators. There are 26 types of data reported under U.S. law, and that includes such information as a property's general location and loan amount as well as the race, ethnicity, sex and annual income of the applicant, the report states, with additional data such as a borrower's age and credit score soon to be collected as part of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Some community organizations would also like to see data on debt-to-income ratios, loan performance and loan servicers to track abusive lending patterns and foreclosures, the report states. When it comes to such requests, Bob Belair of Oldaker, Belair & Wittie LLP told the Daily Dashboard, "The principle here is that for community groups' purposes, to evaluate the way lending is occurring they don't need any personally identifiable information." Under existing law, he said, such data is confidential, and aggregate, statistical data will provide what is needed for such groups' research purposes.
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