The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) requires many financial institutions to maintain, report, and publicly disclose information about mortgages. HMDA was originally enacted by Congress in 1975 and is implemented by Regulation C. The Dodd-Frank Act transferred HMDA rulemaking authority from the Federal Reserve Board to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on July 21, 2011.
These public data are important because they help show whether lenders are serving the housing needs of their communities; they give public officials information that helps them make decisions and policies; and they shed light on lending patterns that could be discriminatory.
If you are concerned about mortgage discrimination or believe you have been discriminated against, please visit Ask CFPB.
Each year, HMDA data are analyzed to identify trends in mortgage lending. Here are some highlights from the Federal Reserve Board’s analysis of 2012 HMDA data.
Mortgage originations were up 38% from 2011, driven primarily by refinancing.See the data
FHA loans accounted for 27% of first-lien home purchases, down from the 31% in 2011 but still substantial when compared to FHA’s 5% share in 2006.See the data
Higher-priced loans* were rare overall. However, 82% of conventional first-lien mortgages used to purchase manufactured homes were higher-priced.
You can explore HMDA data on your own using our online tools. If you want even more flexibility to use the data in your own applications and projects, visit our API documentation pages.
Watch our introduction to HMDA, featuring Ren Essene, CFPB Senior Policy Analyst. You can also read the transcript below.
Each year thousands of banks and other financial institutions report data about mortgages to the public, thanks to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, or “HMDA” for short. These public data are important because:
In recent years, HMDA public data have contained about 15 to 20 million records per year. If you’re wondering what kind of information is available in public HMDA data, let’s begin with how mortgage originations usually work.
Meet Emily. She wants to buy a home but doesn’t have the money to pay for it in cash, so she applies for a loan at her bank. She tells the bank about her finances, the house she wants to buy, and other information the bank needs to make a decision about whether or not to lend to her, and the terms of the loan. The bank reviews Emily’s application, decides that she meets their criteria, and she gets approved. Once all the papers are signed, Emily closes the loan... or in mortgage-speak, the loan is “originated.”
Now, let’s look at kind of information you can find in the public HMDA data:
First, you can find information about the loan itself. The data include mortgage applications, regardless of whether the application was approved or denied. You can also see the loan amount, and the type of loan, including whether it is a “VA” or “FHA” loan. The data also show if the loan is for buying a home, refinancing an existing mortgage, or for home improvements. If the application was denied, in some cases you can see the reasons why.
Second, the data include demographic information on applicants’ race, ethnicity, and sex. This helps prevent discriminatory lending. It’s important to note that the data do not include direct identifying information, like names or Social Security numbers.
Third, there are data about the lender. You can see the name of the lender and which agency regulates them.
And finally, there’s information about the property itself. You can see the type of property and whether the owner intends to live there. Instead of disclosing the address, lenders disclose the census tract, which is the part of a community where the property is located. Census tracts vary in size, but on average about 4,000 people live in a census tract. This provides enough information about the location to be useful, but still provides protections for individual privacy.
Each September, the previous year’s data are released to the public so that anyone – including consumers, public officials, community groups, researchers, developers, journalists, and the banks themselves – can use the data.
We hope you’ll explore the data further on your own! If you build something cool and want to share it with us, or want to see what we’ve made to help explore the data, check out the HMDA tools on GitHub.