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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, September 18, 2013

CFPB creates tool to help public analyze lenders’ mortgage data

By Richard A. Roth, J.D.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is making available an interactive, online tool that is intended to help consumers understand mortgage information reported by lenders under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The tool currently covers information on loan applications and originations from 2010 through 2012. The information for 2012 also has been released by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

HMDA requires most mortgage lenders to make loan information publicly available, in part through reports filed with federal financial institution regulators. The FFIEC aggregates the information and prepares both a disclosure statement for each institution and an aggregate report for each metropolitan statistical area, both of which become publicly available. The CFPB’s new tool helps consumers analyze this data on both a nationwide and an MSA basis.

In remarks at a Consumer Advisory Board meeting in Itta Bena, Mississippi, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said the tool will make the HMDA data more understandable and useful to the public. That, in turn, will help consumers understand the trends in their own communities and how their communities compare to others.

Information available. According to the CFPB, the online tool covers mortgage applications, mortgage originations, loan purposes, and loan types. Information on first lien mortgages for owner-occupied, one- to four-family residences and manufactured homes is included. As examples of the available information displays, the CFPB described:

  • nationwide and local “heat maps” showing that loan applications and originations rose across the country and in most local markets in 2012;
  • an interactive graph showing that refinancing applications and originations were significant factors in the increase; and
  • a second graph showing that loans supported by the Federal Housing Administration or Department of Veterans Affairs continue to account for a significant proportion of mortgage loans.

HMDA data. The FFIEC says that the data it released covers reports filed by 7,400 lenders, which is a 3-percent decline from 2011. Information on 15.3 million applications and 3.2 million loan purchases is included, as is data on 477,000 preapproval requests.

The data showed a 38-percent increase in loan originations since 2011, the FFIEC reported. However, the increase was attributed mainly to a 54-percent increase in refinancings. Loans to purchase homes increased by a much lower 13 percent.

Other than for purchases of manufactured homes, very few loans were classified as higher-priced, the agency reported. FHA loans showed the highest proportion of higher-priced loans, with 4.2 percent meeting the annual percentage rate criteria. However, 82 percent of conventional first-lien loans for the purchase of manufactured homes were higher-priced loans.

The FFIEC also reported that members of some minorities continued to experience higher rates of application denials. Applications by black and Hispanic white applicants were denied more frequently than applications by non-Hispanic white applicants, while Asian applicants did not suffer a significant higher denial rate. The agency noted, however, that HMDA data alone cannot be used to decide whether a lender is engaged in illegal discrimination.

RegulatoryActivity: ConsumerCredit CFPB Loans Mortgages

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