Federal mortgage database draws privacy concerns from GOP

A government mortgage database that would collect information from borrowers about their Social Security numbers, bank accounts and credit scores is raising privacy concerns from Republicans and industry groups.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are considering changes to the National Mortgage Database Program that critics say would reveal too much information about individual borrowers, according to a report by The Washington Examiner

In a recent letter to the FHFA and CFPB, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoBipartisan housing finance reform on the road less taken 2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft Trump faces tough path to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac overhaul MORE (R-Idaho), the top Republicans on their respective banking committees, warned the mortgage database would serve as an "unwarranted intrusion" for borrowers. 

"This expansion represents an unwarranted intrusion into the privacy lives of ordinary Americans, and can be easily perceived as an abuse of the trust placed in your agencies by the American people," they wrote in a May 15 letter.

The two agencies announced potential changes to the mortgage database in the Federal Register in April. The new information being collected could also include borrowers' names, home addresses, zip codes, telephone numbers, employment status, military record, level of education, race, religion and marital status, Hensarling and Crapo charged.

The Examiner reports the mortgage database could also include information about a borrower's credit history, such as delinquent payments, late payments and high account balances. 

The information would date back to mortgages for homes purchased since 1998, according to the report.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions are also criticizing the proposed expansion of the mortgage database.