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CFPB Fines Bank of America for Reporting False Mortgage Data

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Nov 29, 2023

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The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has fined Bank of America $12 million for submitting false mortgage lending information to the federal government.

Bank of America was cited for its violations of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, which requires financial institutions to report demographic data about mortgage applicants. For at least four years, the agency stated, hundreds of Bank of America’ s loan officers failed to ask mortgage applicants certain demographic questions as required under the 1975 law, and then falsely reported that the applicants had declined to respond.

Furthermore, the CFPB found that Bank of America knew of loan officers’ not collecting the data required by law as early as 2013, but did nothing about it.

“Bank of America violated a federal law that thousands of mortgage lenders have routinely followed for decades,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra in a statement. “It is illegal to report false information to federal regulators, and we will be taking additional steps to ensure that Bank of America stops breaking the law.”

Under a consent order, Bank of America neither admitted nor denied the CFPB’s findings but agreed to resolve the case with the $12 million penalty, The Wall Street Journal reported. The penalty will go into the CFPB’s victims relief fund, 

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank conducted a review and notified the government after receiving a complaint in 2020 about the demographic data collection, prompting the CFPB’s inquiry, a spokesperson told the Journal.

“As the CFPB notes, we took additional steps in 2020 and 2021 to enhance our monitoring and training to ensure employees ask applicants for required racial, ethnic and gender information,” spokesman Bill Halldin told the Journal. “This data collection issue had no impact on applications.”