Cortez Masto pens letter to CFPB director, blasts latest assault on ageny’s mission

dismantle it now
Kathleen Laura Kraninger testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs July 19, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
dismantle it now
Kathleen Laura Kraninger testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs July 19, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and several of their Democratic colleagues are demanding that trends and disparities in mortgage credit data remain public.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau recently decided to remove such data from its website.

In a letter to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, the senators demand that she reverse the decision to remove Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Explorer and the Public Data Platform Application Programming Interface (API) from the CFPB website.

The data “remains the primary tool for citizens, journalists, academics, and public officials to measure trends and disparities in mortgage credit access, including disparities based on a protected class under the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act,” the senators wrote.

“In the years leading up to the financial crisis, predatory lenders targeted borrowers of color for subprime loans that devastated communities and destroyed wealth, the letter states, citing press reports indicating that as recently as last year “lenders were more likely – in some cases more than five times more likely – to deny people of color conventional mortgage financing in 61 of the metro areas analyzed.”

The housing mortgage data decision is only the latest in what consumer advocates say is an ongoing Trump administration transformation of the CFPB from an agency to protect consumers to an agency to protect industry. Critics point to policy reversals that have curbed regulatory oversight of payday lenders, student loans, debt collectors and other areas of abuse of consumer credit, in what amounts to the effective dismantlement of the agency and destruction of its mission.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.

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