MReport November 2020

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60 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST GOVERNMENT HUD Grants Housing Counseling Aid for Families HUD's award of more than $12.5 million in grant funds will help support quality housing counseling services for families working to recover from the pandemic. T he U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that more than $12.5 million in grant funds would directly support quality housing counseling services. The grants will go to 219 lo- cal housing counseling agencies, national and regional organiza- tions, and HUD-approved state housing finance agencies (SHFAs). These entities all competed for HUD's FY 2020 Supplemental Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) or HUD's FY 2019/2020 Comprehensive Housing Counseling NOFA. The counseling agencies aim to help Americans get back on track from the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. "Our hope is that those af- fected by the pandemic who need housing help will reach out to qualified housing counsel- ing professionals to help them understand what their options are," Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Dana Wade said in the announcement. The agencies who have re- ceived grants provide a number of services, such as assisting homebuyers with evaluating their preparedness for purchasing a home and going through the buy- ing process. The grants will also fund housing counseling services such as foreclosure avoidance and rental counseling services. "This funding comes at exactly the right time to support the nation's homeowners and renters who are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who can benefit from the as- sistance of a housing counselor to remain in their homes," HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. CFPB Seeks Feedback on Financial Records Rule The proposed rule would govern the way consumers can access their financial information collected by a third party. T he Consumer Finan- cial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued an ad- vance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) requesting input on regulating consumer ac- cess to financial records. With the ANPR, the CFPB is looking for suggestions on how the agency could most efficiently and effectively develop regulations implementing Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which focuses on consumer rights regarding the access of financial records. The agency added the ANPR is seek- ing comments and information on costs and benefits of consumer data access, competitive incentives, standard-setting, access scope, consumer control, privacy and data security, and accuracy. "When consumers use financial products and services, the provid- ers of those products and services generally accumulate data about those consumers and their use of those products and services," the CFPB said in a press state- ment. "Consumer access to these data allows consumers to manage their financial accounts and can enhance consumers' control of their financial matters. Consumers may realize these benefits by authorizing third parties to access these data on their behalf and allowing those third parties to deliver new or improved finan- cial products and services. Use cases for consumer-authorized data include personal financial management, making and receiv- ing payments, assisting consumers with improving savings outcomes, underwriting credit, and many other services." In February of this year, the CFPB hosted a symposium titled "Consumer Access to Financial Records and Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act." In the report issued after the symposium's conclusion, the CFPB observed that while consumers' ability to access their financial records in electronic form "empowers them to better monitor their finances" while encouraging financial ser- vices companies to make the con- sumer experience more efficient, it also determined that "this kind of expanded access to consumer financial records raises a number of concerns, particularly with respect to data security, privacy, and unauthorized access." "Our hope is that those affected by the pandemic who need housing help will reach out to qualified housing counseling professionals to help them understand what their options are." —Dana Wade, Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner

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