Frequently Asked Questions

The CFPB issued new instructions for financial institutions required to file Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. See answers to frequently asked questions below!

Man pointing to elements on flow diagram

Man holding computer tablet with data charts displayed

scales infront of white pillars

Laptops with shower of zeros and ones bursting upward in background

cfpb rate spread

regulatory relief bill

Man standing under umbrella with word CFPB

Two men shaking hands with data and gears in background

HMDA Check Digit

Person pointing to graphics on teleprompter screen

safe harbor instant geocoder

Laptops with data flow connected to computer server

golden globe on top of dollar bills

Computers connected via spider web with WWW in center

 new cfpb hmda platform faq


Man pointing to elements on flow diagram

42 new or modified data fields

The CFPB has added or modified 42 data points to be collected, recorded and reported, bringing the total number of HMDA fields in 2018 and beyond to 110! This includes the addition of Reverse Mortgages and Open-End Lines of Credit. In addition, the new HMDA rules will not be purpose driven for consumer loans. The new rules require reporting of all dwelling secured consumer transactions regardless of purpose.
CLICK HERE to see all the fields.

In October 2016, QuestSoft published final CFPB HMDA specifications to LOS partners and authorized customers. Customers can also obtain specifications via our website (via a signed Non Disclosure Agreement [NDA]). Download NDA [PDF]

Leonard Ryan photo with sky as background

New Government Monitoring Information (GMI) Demographic fields

On September 28, 2016 the CFPB issued a notice detailing its approval of the use of the new 2016 Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) for the expanded collection of information relating to ethnicity and race under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

The bureau said financial institutions may use the new URLA between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2017, to collect certain disaggregated race and ethnicity data. The bureau specified that the data collection is not a violation of Regulations B’s or C’s provisions regarding data collection.

The CFPB also said the 2016 URLA is approved under Regulation B provisions related to requests for information regarding spouses and marital status.

CLICK HERE to view the issued final rule.

Will QuestSoft’s Compliance RELIEF allow for importing of the new GMI Demographic fields in 2017?

At this time, since the new demographic fields will not be part of the 2017 CFPB submission; QuestSoft has opted not to include these fields in our 2017 HMDA module. We believe this will simplify an already complex transition.

All 2018 imports will allow for the new demographic fields. And our 2018 CFPB Testing Module is available now for testing imports with Compliance RELIEF.



HMDA Institutional Coverage Documents

         2017 hmda institutional coverage rules                        2018


Laptops with data flow connected to computer server

New loan types, mandatory GMI and denial reasons, and more with new HMDA rules…

The big change to HMDA will be evident to lenders and vendors who specialize in HELOCS and new loan types not normally associated with mortgage software. Since HELOCS have been traditionally optional for HMDA reporting, most consumer loan software used in banks and credit unions does not include fields to collect Government Monitoring Information (GMI). This will need to change.

CFPB HMDA specifications add both GMI and denial reasons as mandatory fields starting in 2018. Therefore, if you are not currently reporting HELOCS, it would be a good idea to touch base with your vendor to make sure they will be prepared for this major change. You might even consider collecting the information by January 1, 2017 so you can run internal tests before the CFPB HMDA collection becomes mandatory in 2018.


Man holding computer tablet with data charts displayed

Fair Lending becomes more automated raising the risk of penalties and corrective actions

Since the fallout from 2008, HMDA has been morphing into Fair Lending. If you have not yet implemented a fair lending analysis program, now is the time.

You may find some regulators jumping the gun on the GMI/Denial Reason fields by January 1, 2017 for fair lending purposes. At present, race, sex and ethnicity information is a calculated “guess” for loan types outside of HMDA. With the expansion to commercial/consumer systems, there will now be a formalized process to collect this information. We expect these trends to continue, and lenders need to be prepared.

Fair Lending under the new CFPB HMDA will become more automated and more judgmental. The new rules will see 6,000+ lenders sending fair lending information to the CFPB. It will be very easy for the CFPB and other regulators to apply massive fair lending analysis to all of the data and release the top 10, 100 or 1,000 egregious violators along with the appropriate fee and corrective action for your lending sins. Therefore, we recommend you investigate and consider our fair lending offerings for implementation sometime in 2016 if you haven’t already.

LendingPatterns™ will give you a perspective based on almost 10 years of historic HMDA information and provide a detailed fair lending footprint of you and your peers. This web-based software is a perfect complement to small and mid-tier lender’s fair lending budgets and will ensure that you know how fair you are actually being in your lending operations, before the examiners arrive. The Fair Lending Magic™ product addresses matched pair and regression analysis which is probably something to consider if your company’s profile is higher in the industry.
Contact us today for more information.


two businessmen shaking hands

The Q617 edit has been generating a lot questions as there is still quite a bit of industry confusion surrounding the logic behind it. Most frequently it is seen in FHA loans. Based on feedback from the CFPB and various LOS partners, here is what we know:

  • FHA standards are established for qualification purposes – CLTV is calculated using the “base loan amount” for LTV/CLTV limits.
  • HMDA requires the CLTV to be calculated using the “total amount securing the debt”.
  • The Q617 Quality Edit is intended to identify a potential error. If the error is systemic in nature, the reporting entity must make the appropriate correction prior to submission.
  • If your LOS allows you to establish business rules for populating specific data fields on your HMDA screens, we encourage you to consider creating such rules to manage CLTV.

In the past there has been some ambiguity regarding how the CFPB intends to calculate the Q617 ‘comparison LTV’, specifically around decimal accuracy. The CFPB has recently confirmed with QuestSoft that they will calculate the LTV to the same number of decimal places as the CLTV reported in the LAR file. For example, if the CLTV for a given loan is reported as 95, the CFPB will calculate the LTV as a whole number. Alternatively, if the CLTV is reported as 95.123, the CFPB will calculate the LTV to three decimal places. This logic will be incorporated into the Q617 calculation and included in our next quarterly release.

We continue to monitor this topic closely and expect to continue making minor adjustments to the logic around Q617 throughout the year as we learn more from the CFPB.


gold globe on top of dollar bills

Will Compliance RELIEF generate a Universal Loan Identifier (ULI) for us if our LOS doesn’t?

Even though your LOS will mostly be responsible for ULI generation, QuestSoft has added a ULI generator to our CFPB Testing Module in Compliance RELIEF. This allows users to create an individual ULI with check digit from an existing Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) and Loan/Application Number. We are currently evaluating batch generation of the ULI at import.

Will Compliance RELIEF verify the two-digit check digit required for the Universal Loan Identifier (ULI)?

Yes, we will offer the ability to verify the check digit on every ULI.

scales infront of white pillars

Will Compliance RELIEF generate a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) for us?

No. If your company does not already have an LEI you will need to obtain one as soon as possible from the GMEI Utility. The website is endorsed by the Global LEI Foundation and also has a search function. There are some frequently asked questions on their website and here are a few highlights derived from those FAQs:

  • Who can register the company: You must currently be an employee of the company you are registering, and be authorized by the company to register for an LEI. Alternatively, financial institutions may use a third party through an assisted registration process. The person registering the firm will need a user account, which can be created here.
  • What information is needed to register: The basic information listed in the ISO 17422 such as the company’s legal name, registered address, headquarters address, legal form, etc.
  • How much does the registration cost: GMEI Utility charges $200 for a registration request, with a $19 surcharge. To maintain the LEI moving forward, the fee is $100 with a $19 surcharge. For more information, here are the FAQs specific to payment.
  • How long does this process take: Once payment is processed, the GMEI will validate the company using public sources. Once this process is complete, it takes about three business days for an LEI to be issued in the GMEI database. Overall, GMEI Utility’s FAQs say most requests are “cleared” within three to five business days.
Check Digital and ULI Tool

Does QuestSoft’s check digit calculator match the CFPB's Check Digit Tool?

Yes. Check Digit calculations are universal. In addition, QuestSoft plans to add a batch ULI generator in a future release. 

Computers connected via spider web with WWW in center

QuestSoft supports you with educational HMDA webinars

QuestSoft has hosted a number of webinars to provide information on what is changing, what you need to look out for, and what your organization needs to do. CLICK HERE to view our recent webinar series. 

Sign up to receive notifications of upcoming webinars from QuestSoft.



Laptops with shower of zeros and ones bursting upward in background

QuestSoft software updates in progress already

Absolutely. QuestSoft is already in the process of updating our software to CFPB HMDA standards and will provide upgrades as needed. Our new Compliance RELIEF platform - which features HMDA, CRA, Geocoding, Fair Lending and more - will have everything you need to adhere to the new HMDA rules and take the complexity out of compliance.


Person pointing to graphics on teleprompter screen

QuestSoft products will comply with every element of new CFPB HMDA

QuestSoft products are being modified and updated to comply with every element of the new CFPB HMDA changes. We have been on top of these changes since before they were even announced and have been adding new fields to our software for the past several years. We added web submission last year as well. Rest assured, QuestSoft will be ready and able to handle everything in the new regulations before they will be required. We’ve been doing HMDA for 21 years. It’s what we do. See our Today's New Compliance Challenges & Solutions webinar series for more information.

new cfpb HMDA platform

Do we need to sign up for access to the new CFPB platform for HMDA submission?

Yes! All customers will need to sign up for access to the CFPB Platform. QuestSoft, is your conduit to the CFPB. We have assembled all submission related information on our Submission Central website. It answers all of your burning questions about the new submission process. Rest assured, QuestSoft will be here to assist you at every step along the way.

Rate Spread Calculator

Does QuestSoft’s Rate Spread calculation match the results of the new CFPB Rate Spread Calculator?

Yes, the Rate Spread calculation method has not changed. The CFPB simply added the FFIEC Rate Calculator engine to their website* and changed the file formats for the APOR tables from CSV to pipe delimited. QuestSoft has always calculated the Rate Spread per the regulation. Please note that if the calculated Rate Spread in Compliance RELIEF differs from the spread calculated by your LOS, you have the option to change the Decimal Accuracy and Rounding Method under HMDA Preferences.

* Please note, QuestSoft has discovered a discrepancy in the CFPB Calculator for 2017 rate set dates and DOES NOT RECOMMEND using the new calculator for dates in 2017.

CFPB safe harbor geocoding

Will QuestSoft be offering the CFPB geocoding solution that provides Safe Harbor?

QuestSoft has always maintained that accurate geocoding is the hallmark of compliant HMDA (and CRA) submissions. Our Instant Geocoder software boasts the highest accuracy rates in our industry.

As of November, 2017 the CFPB geocoding platform has yet to be released, but rumor has it that it will use less accurate publically available data, thus the offer of "Safe Harbor".

There are several sections in the CFPB Revisions of the final revised rules released on August 28, 2017 that discuss geocoding and Safe Harbor. Pages 117-119 indicate the following:

“The Bureau believes that an accurate census tract should be reported in as many cases as possible. At the same time, however, a financial institution should not face compliance risk for inaccuracies resulting from information provided by the geocoding tool on the Bureau’s website.”

“The Bureau did not intend, as commenters appear to have inferred, that only census tract errors generated by the geocoding tool on the Bureau’s website are bona fide errors. Current § 1003.6 states that an error in compiling or recording data for a covered loan or application is not a violation if the error was unintentional and occurred despite the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid such an error, and neither the 2015 HMDA Final Rule nor this final rule changes that provision. New comment 6(b)–2 merely clarifies that the geocoding tool on the Bureau’s website serves as one example of a procedure reasonably adapted to avoid incorrect entries for census tract numbers. Obtaining census tract numbers using other geocoding tools may constitute a procedure reasonably adapted to avoid geocoding errors, depending on the facts and circumstances. If a financial institution chooses to use an alternative geocoding tool that constitutes a procedure reasonably adapted to avoid census tract errors, the financial institution will receive the same Safe Harbor protections."

QuestSoft’s plan is to cross check the CFPB geocoder against geocoding data that costs money and WILL BE more accurate. We understand the default of examiners will be the CFPB Geocoder, especially if they are not well versed in geocoding. However, while the Bureau has yet to release its geocoder, their statements indicate the use of free sources that traditionally have not measured up to acceptable accuracy of current examinations. We feel the likelihood of errors may double or triple with these databases despite any safe harbor. Any institution selling loans to gain CRA credit or additional basis points MAY have a problem if the property is proven to not lie in an LMI tract but is identified as such using the CFPB geocoder. Therefore, QuestSoft feels the only way for an institution to protect itself and for the industry to maintain trust and integrity in the loans it is making, is to always judge a geocode on its accuracy.     

We are also contemplating several solutions, which are all dependent on the CFPB releasing an open source geocoder. If they do as promised, we will offer a dual solution that allows our customers to make the choice that’s right for them. We would love to hear comments and/or suggestions


In previous years, we were able to print their HMDA Loan Application Register (LAR). In 2018, when we go to the Reports tab in HMDA RELIEF we can’t print the LAR report any longer. Why?

Beginning in 2018, the CFPB has advised the following:

“Given the new format with 110 fields and the new tools available, the printed LAR form is no longer in use.”

We know that many of our customers miss the old LAR form. Unfortunately that format is no longer feasible (or printable) with 110 HMDA fields. To accommodate our customers, Compliance RELIEF now allows the export of your HMDA data to an Excel spreadsheet from the Reports=>LAR tab. The spreadsheet contains all of the HMDA reportable fields as they pertain to the Filing Instructions Guide Table 2. To simplify the form, we have combined the GMI fields. Please note that this report is not to be used for submission or re-importing into the software.


regulatory relief bill how it affects you


QuestSoft is aware of the recent CFPB procedural rule to implement and clarify changes made to HMDA by the Regulatory Relief Bill S.2155. If you missed our recent S.2155 HMDA implementation webinar, you can access the recording here.

Here’s what we know:

  • If you are NOT a bank or credit union with under 500 HMDA originations, nothing with HMDA is going to change. S.2155 was designed to provide a reduced HMDA reporting burden only to low volume banks and credit unions. If you are a non-depository of any size, this bill will not provide any promised relief. 
  • All HMDA filers must still collect and submit HMDA data. S.2155 has provisions where smaller banks and credit unions (it is unclear if this includes subsidiaries) will not need to submit “expanded” data under HMDA in the future. All data points you have submitted since Year 2004 are still required. Though the new data elements may not need to be submitted any longer, you may still be held accountable for them. Additional questions and concerns regarding the expanded government monitoring information, still very much remain. 

The recent CFPB Executive Summary provides some much-needed guidance and clarification:

  • The LAR format will not be changed.
  • Institutions subject to the “partial exemption” of data will enter an exemption code.
  • The CFPB released its updated Filing Instructions Guide (FIG), which defines the exempt fields and applicable codes.
  • All HMDA reporters will use the same HMDA platform – which the CFPB has said will be available later this year.

So, what does this mean?

The next update to Compliance RELIEF (v1.1.9.0) will allow institutions covered by the S.2155 HMDA partial exemption to automatically comply with the requirements. This update will also give institutions the ability to choose which optional data points they wish to report. Click Here to learn more.