The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has conditionally offered its support for a bipartisan bill in Congress designed to set a national standard for the protection of consumer information, as well as to require companies to inform customers in the event of a data-security breach.
Introduced last fall, the Financial Data Protection Act of 2005, H.R. 3997, would seek to prevent data breaches by amending the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to mandate a strong national standard for the protection of sensitive information on consumers. The bill also would require companies to notify consumers of data-security breaches involving sensitive information that might be used to commit financial fraud against them and require companies to provide consumers with a free six-month nationwide credit-monitoring service upon notification of a breach.
At a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit on Nov. 9, MBA submitted testimony expressing support for a national standard that would help lenders avoid the regulatory burden of staying current with an "ever-changing patchwork" of state and local laws.
"MBA believes that, with modifications, the passage of H.R. 3997 could put in place legislation that would allow for a clear, consistent and uniform set of guidelines by which financial organizations can implement data-security programs and policies that better protect consumers from the...