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Curious Feds Probe Bankrate

Curious Feds Probe Bankrate

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is at it again.  This time the government agency is investigating the mortgage rate comparison tool provided by financial services company Bankrate on its website.  A filing by Bankrate with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosed that Bankrate and several of its employees were requested by the CFPB to produce documents and answer questions about Bankrate’s quality control over the rate tables used in its online mortgage tracker.

Bankrate stated that it complied with the CFPB request as well as responding to a second request from the CFPB which outlined possible claims which could be filed against Bankrate.  No further information was available outside of the SEC filing.

Ironically, as seems to be the case with the CFPB lately (see an earlier GoodCredit.com article about the CFPB missing a deadline), the CFPB includes a similar mortgage rate tracking tool on its “Owning a Home” web page.  Mortgage bankers claim that the CFPB rate tool if advertised by a lender would violate CFPB disclosure rules because it fails to include items such as annual percentage rate (APR) and closing costs.

Mortgage rate comparison is becoming a popular feature on lenders’ websites.  Google currently has one available in the United Kingdom and plans to soon provide one in the United States through its Google Compare service.

(Bankrate, Inc. is a United States media corporation founded in 1976. It aggregates rate information from nearly 5,000 financial institutions on several hundred financial products.)

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