The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) was enacted by Congress in 1975 and is implemented by Regulation C (12 CFR Part 1003).
HMDA grew out of public concern over credit shortages in certain urban neighborhoods. Congress believed that some financial institutions had contributed to the decline of some geographic areas by their failure to provide adequate home financing to qualified applicants on reasonable terms and conditions. Thus, one purpose of HMDA and Regulation C is to provide the public with information that will help show whether financial institutions are serving the housing credit needs of the neighborhoods and communities in which they are located. A second purpose is to aid public officials in targeting public investments from the private sector to areas where they are needed. Finally, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) amendments of 1989 require the collection and disclosure of data about applicant and borrower characteristics to assist in identifying possible discriminatory lending patterns and enforcing antidiscrimination statutes.
As the name implies, HMDA is a disclosure law that relies upon public
scrutiny for its effectiveness. It does not prohibit any specific activity of
lenders, and it does not establish a quota system of mortgage loans to be made
in any Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or other geographic area.