NAMB to meet lawmakers as industry continues to lobby against trigger leads

Cadre of some 100 brokers to press legislators about ongoing issue

Mortgage brokers will press congressional lawmakers in person next week over trigger leads, a practice where a consumer’s information is sold by credit reporting agencies to third parties (including other lenders) after applying for a mortgage, often without the consumer’s knowledge or consent.

A cadre of about 100 brokers will meet with lawmakers as well as top officials of housing agencies during a legislative conference organized by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB).

Trigger leads have been an ongoing issue, said Valerie Saunders, NAMB’s president. Brokers will start working with a client, pull their credit to see if they qualify for a mortgage and then other lenders will start bombarding the client with calls.

“When you have somebody that’s getting 70 calls, a hundred calls, after their credit is pulled, it creates a situation where more than just the industry takes notice,” Saunders said.

Under current law, it’s up to the consumer to opt out and notify a credit reporting agency that their individual data is not to be sold as a trigger lead.

The Legislative and Regulatory Conference is scheduled from April 15-17 in Washington, D.C. The annual conference is part meet-and-greet session and part lobbying session. Brokers and other mortgage professionals can still sign up to attend the event.

The first day will include a diversity, equity and inclusion session where attendees will hear from speakers from Freddie Mac, National Housing Conference and UnidosUS.

The second day, attendees will hear from Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, as well as Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Missouri), ranking member on the committee and a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Federal Finance Housing Director Sandra Thompson, acting director of Housing and Urban Development Adrianne Todman and Freddie Mac’s chief administrative officer Jeff Markowitz are also scheduled to speak.

The last day will be a lobbying effort where NAMB members will speak to lawmakers about several issues, including allowing spouses of deceased service members to retain survivor benefits if they remarry. A bill called the Love Lives On Act has been introduced in this Congress.

Bills on trigger leaders — called the Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act — have been introduced both in the U.S. House and Senate during this session. Saunders said it should be an even higher priority when details about borrowers are being sold in this era of cybercrime with data breaches occurring frequently.

While bills have been introduced on the issue in the House in prior years, this year’s effort is being backed by a large coalition of real estate groups, including, among others, NAMB, the National Association of Realtors, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the American Bankers Association.

“You have such a large number of trade associations — and large trade associations —that have come out in support of the legislation…,” Saunders said. “You’ve got just a plethora of trade associations all coming together for a common cause, which doesn’t always happen.”


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