Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered Nationstar Mortgage LLC to pay a $1.75 million civil penalty for violating the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). HMDA consistently failed to report accurate data about mortgage transactions for 2012 through 2014.
Today’s action is the largest HMDA civil penalty imposed by the Bureau to date, which stems from Nationstar’s market size, the substantial magnitude of its errors, and its history of previous violations. In fact, Nationstar had been on notice since 2011 of HMDA compliance problems. In addition to paying the civil penalty, Nationstar must take the necessary steps this time to improve its compliance management and prevent future violations.
“Financial institutions that violate the law repeatedly and substantially are not making serious enough efforts to report accurate information,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today we are sending a strong reminder that HMDA serves important purposes for many stakeholders in the mortgage market, and those required to report this information must make more careful efforts to follow the law.”
Nationstar, a nationwide nonbank mortgage lender headquartered in Coppell, Texas, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. With nearly 3 million customers, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings is a major participant in the mortgage servicing and origination markets. The company and its subsidiaries earn fees through servicing, origination, and other real estate-based services. According to 2014 data, Nationstar was the ninth-largest HMDA reporter by total mortgage originations, the sixth largest by applications received, and the 13th largest by money lent. From 2010 to 2014, Nationstar’s number of HMDA mortgage loans increased by nearly 900 percent.
The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975 requires many mortgage lenders to collect and report data about their mortgage lending to appropriate federal agencies and make it available to the public. Federal regulators, enforcement agencies, community organizations, and state and local agencies can use the information to monitor whether financial institutions are serving housing needs in their communities. It also helps direct public-sector investment to attract private investment to areas where it is needed.