The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unveiled a new tool Friday aimed at making Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data more user-friendly. In a report released the same day, the CFPB said it collected HMDA data from 7,400 financial institutions in 2012 on 18.7 million loan applications.
The tool is intended to improve residential lending information, and provide a better understanding of a borrower’s access to credit. The tool could potentially make it easier for consumer groups, watchdog organizations, and mortgage regulators to identify potential cases of predatory lending.
The data fields currently available include loan amount, lender name, property type, and location. Additional fields include the applicant's race, ethnicity, sex, loan amount, and loan purpose.
New information is being considered for inclusion into the HMDA data.
"Better public HMDA data would help us improve upon an important resource that already allows regulators, government agencies, housing groups, and consumer rights groups to study and monitor the single most important consumer financial product in the United States: the mortgage loan," said Richard Cordray, CFPB Director.
New data fields under consideration include loan length, total points and fees, and teaser terms. The borrower's age and credit score would also be included, as well as information about home-equity lines of credit.
The CFPB is also considering a requirement for lenders to explain reasons for a rejected application, and whether the lender considered the loan to be a Qualified Mortgage.
The addition of the new information mostly includes data that lenders are already collecting for loan processing, underwriting, and pricing.
Not all new information would be made publicly available, and the new reporting guidelines would largely be in line with current industry standards.
"Approximately 70 percent of all loans eventually sold to the GSEs use the Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset of the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) data standards for residential mortgages," Cordray said. "Where possible, alignment of the HMDA data requirements to this open and free standard already being used by most lenders provides an opportunity to improve market efficiency, market understanding, and market oversight."
The CFPB HMDA tool is available online.