JLF Triangle Blog

Which One Do You Believe? The Documents Or The Bureaucrat?

Just when you think the federal government’s intrusion into our private lives couldn’t possibly get any worse — it does.

As many as 227 million Americans may be compelled to disclose intimate details of their families and financial lives — including their Social Security numbers — in a new national database being assembled by two federal agencies.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau posted an April 16 Federal Register notice of an expansion of their joint National Mortgage Database Program to include personally identifiable information that reveals actual users, a reversal of previously stated policy.

FHFA will manage the database and share it with CFPB. A CFPB internal planning document for 2013-17 describes the bureau as monitoring 95 percent of all mortgage transactions.

The documents reveal the truth, even as the head of the behemoth CFPB, Richard Cordray, has denied what the documents reveal.

Earlier this year, Cordray tried to assuage concerned lawmakers during a Jan. 28 hearing of Hensarling’s panel, saying repeatedly the database will only contain “aggregate” information with no personal identifiers.

But under the April register notice, the database expansion means it will include a host of data points, including a mortgage owner’s name, address, Social Security number, all credit card and other loan information and account balances.

I’ll be kind and say Mr. Cordray was uninformed. But don’t worry, I’m sure he’s now mad as hell.

 

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