WASHINGTON (1/12/16)--A proposed national survey of mortgage borrowers creates a real risk for consumers, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and other trade organizations told the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Monday.
The FHFA has proposed collecting information relating to the National Survey of Existing Mortgage Borrowers, a periodic voluntary survey of individuals who currently have first mortgage loan secured by a single-family residential property.
According the to FHFA, the 80- to 85-question survey would elicit information from borrowers about their loans, with the stated goal of supporting policymaking and research efforts to understand the residential mortgage market.
“We are concerned, however, that the Database (1) is overly extensive; (2) poses a significant danger to consumer privacy through re-identification; and (3) is duplicative of other databases. As such, we believe the database should not be introduced until several steps are taken,” the letter reads. “These steps include consultation with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to ensure that the FHFA and CFPB data cannot result in re-identification of consumers. The steps should also include soliciting additional input on the survey topics and questions.
“We understand that FHFA is required by law to survey and collect data, but we strongly urge FHFA to make consumer privacy and data collection efficiency its top considerations as this survey develops,” the letter adds.
The organizations urge the FHFA to review the goals of the proposed survey and identify “genuinely unique data points not otherwise captured by existing surveys” and to ultimately reissue a more complete survey for comment.
In addition to CUNA, the letter was signed by the American Bankers Association, American Financial Services Association, American Land Title Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Consumer Mortgage Coalition, Housing Policy Council of the Financial Services Roundtable, Independent Community Bankers of America, Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association of Federal Credit Unions.