New House Bill Seeks to Reduce Trigger Leads

U.S. Reps. John Rose and Ritchie Torres have introduced the Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act, a measure that would expand to ban trigger leads except in limited circumstances.

When a consumer applies for a mortgage, credit bureaus are notified that the consumer is interested in financing, which is referred to as a “trigger lead.” That information is then sold by the credit bureaus to data brokers (including other lenders) without the consumer’s knowledge or approval. Consumers are then often bombarded with calls that confuse them and attempt to lure them away from their chosen lenders.

“Buying a home is stressful enough for many consumers. The last thing most folks want is to be annoyed incessantly by the constant barrage of emails, text messages, and phone calls after they apply for a mortgage,” said Rep. Rose. “My bill would put an end to this shady and confusing practice and restore data privacy for homebuyers.”

The Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act prohibits a consumer reporting agency from furnishing a trigger lead unless an individual chooses to opt-in. In that case, only certain approved groups will be notified that an individual is seeking a new mortgage. The Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act is tailored to give consumers more control over the information they receive as part of the homebuying process, and eliminates trigger lead abuses while preserving their use in appropriately limited circumstances.

“Trigger leads exploit consumers’ financial inquiries, turning them into commodities sold without consent. We must empower homebuyers, not bombard them with predatory calls,” said Rep. Torres. “This bipartisan legislation takes a crucial step in safeguarding consumer privacy and choice in the mortgage process.”

Reps. Rose and Torres were joined in sponsoring the bill by Reps. French Hill, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Wiley Nickel, Bill Posey, Brittany Pettersen, Monica De La Cruz, Andy Ogles, Dusty Johns, and Jack Bergman.

The Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act is supported by a broad coalition of financial trades and consumer groups, including the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), National Association of Mortgage Bankers (NAMB), American Bankers Association (ABA), and the Broker Action Coalition.

“MBA continues to be a fierce proponent for legislative reforms that stop the abusive use of mortgage trigger leads while preserving their value in appropriately limited circumstances during a real estate transaction,” said MBA’s President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB. “This updated House companion bill harmonizes with the MBA-supported trigger leads bill in the Senate–introduced in December 2023–and furthers the momentum for legislative action on this issue. We commend Reps. John Rose (R-TN) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY), and Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) for introducing these bills and continue to call on House and Senate leaders to pass them into law as soon as possible.”

A companion bipartisan bill, also dubbed the Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act (S. 3502) that would restrict credit reporting agencies from selling consumers’ contact information when they apply for a residential mortgage, was introduced by Sens. Reed and Hagerty in the Senate.

“A mortgage application should not be public information,” said ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey. “ICBA and the nation’s community banks thank Sens. Reed and Hagerty for introducing the Homebuyers Privacy Protection Act to restrict the sale of trigger leads and give consumers more control over their private financial information and shield them from unwanted solicitations.”

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Eric C. Peck

MortgagePoint Managing Digital Editor Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career in New York City with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage finance space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for
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