Washington, D.C. (Dec. 14, 2023)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today expressed support for bipartisan legislation to help protect the financial privacy of mortgage applicants.

Introduced by Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), the Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act (S. 3502) would restrict credit reporting agencies from selling consumers’ contact information when they apply for a residential mortgage. These “trigger leads” result in a deluge of solicitations for prospective homebuyers, leading to hassles and confusion for consumers.

“A mortgage application should not be public information,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “ICBA and the nation’s community banks thank Sens. Reed and Hagerty for introducing the Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act to restrict the sale of trigger leads and give consumers more control over their private financial information and shield them from unwanted solicitations.”

Consumers are inundated with unwanted and invasive solicitations after they apply for a mortgage, yet the current process for a consumer to opt out is confusing and does not take effect immediately. As a result, consumers may believe that their accounts have been hacked or their information has been sold to other lenders.

The Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit credit reporting agencies from selling trigger leads when consumers apply for residential mortgage loans unless the consumer has opted into the creation and sale of such leads or if certain exceptions apply: the recipient of the trigger lead has originated the consumer’s current mortgage, services the consumer’s current mortgage, or is an insured depository institution that holds a current account for the consumer.

ICBA looks forward to working with Sens. Reed and Hagerty and other lawmakers to advance this important legislation through Congress. We appreciate Reps. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and John Rose (R-Tenn.) for raising awareness of this important issue in the House.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America® has one mission: to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish. We power the potential of the nation’s community banks through effective advocacy, education, and innovation.

As local and trusted sources of credit, America’s community banks leverage their relationship-based business model and innovative offerings to channel deposits into the neighborhoods they serve, creating jobs, fostering economic prosperity, and fueling their customers’ financial goals and dreams. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at icba.org.