By: William J. Showalter, CRCM, CRP, Senior Consultant
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recently announced the availability of data for the year 2018 regarding mortgage lending transactions at 5,683 financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) in metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) throughout the nation.
The newly available HMDA data include disclosure statements for each covered financial institution, aggregate data for each MSA, nationwide summary statistics regarding lending patterns, and the Loan Application Register (LAR) submitted by each institution to its supervisory agency by March 1, 2019, modified for borrower privacy. This release includes loan-level HMDA data covering 2018 lending activity that were submitted on or before August 7, 2019.
The FFIEC prepares and distributes these data products on behalf of its member agencies – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve Board (FRB), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The HMDA loan-level data available to the public will be updated, on an ongoing basis, to reflect late submissions and resubmissions. Accordingly, loan-level data downloaded from https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/ at a later date will include any such updated data. An August 7, 2019 static dataset used to develop the observations in this statement about the 2018 HMDA data is available at https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/data-publication/. In addition, beginning in late March 2019, Loan/Application Registers (LARs) for each HMDA filer of 2018 data, modified to protect borrower privacy, became available at https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/data-publication/.
The 2018 HMDA data use the census tract delineations, population, and housing characteristic data from the 2011-2015 American Community Surveys. In addition, the data reflect metropolitan statistical area (MSA) definitions released by the Office of Management and Budget in 2017 that became effective for HMDA purposes in 2018.
For 2018, the number of reporting institutions declined by about 2.9 percent from the previous year to 5,683, continuing a downward trend since 2006, when HMDA coverage included just over 8,900 lenders. The decline reflects mergers, acquisitions, and the failure of some institutions.
The 2018 data include information on 12.9 million home loan applications. Among them, 10.3 million were closed-end, 2.3 million were open-end, and, for another 378,000 records, pursuant to partial exemptions in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA), financial institutions did not indicate whether the records were closed-end or open-end.
A total of 7.7 million applications resulted in loan originations. Among them, 6.3 million were closed-end mortgage originations, 1.1 million were open-end line of credit originations, and, pursuant to the EGRRCPA’s partial exemptions, 283,000 were originations for which financial institutions did not indicate whether they were closed-end or open-end. The 2018 data include 2.0 million purchased loans, for a total of 15.1 million records. The data also include information on approximately 177,000 requests for preapprovals for home purchase loans.
The total number of originated loans decreased by about 924,000 between 2017 and 2018, or 12.6 percent. Refinance originations decreased by 23.1 percent from 2.5 million, and home purchase lending increased by 0.3 percent from 4.3 million.
A total of 2,251 reporters made use of the EGRRCPA’s partial exemptions for at least one of the 26 data points eligible for the exemptions. In all, they account for about 425,000 records and 298,000 originations.
From 2017 to 2018, the share of home purchase loans for first lien, one- to four-family, site-built, owner-occupied properties (one- to four-family, owner-occupied properties) made to low- and moderate-income borrowers (those with income of less than 80 percent of area median income) rose slightly from 26.3 percent to 28.1 percent, and the share of refinance loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers for one- to four-family, owner-occupied properties increased from 22.9 percent to 30.0 percent.
In terms of borrower race and ethnicity, the share of home purchase loans for one- to four-family, owner-occupied properties made to Black borrowers rose from 6.4 percent in 2017 to 6.7 percent in 2018, the share made to Hispanic-White borrowers increased slightly from 8.8 percent to 8.9 percent, and those made to Asian borrowers rose from 5.8 percent to 5.9 percent. From 2017 to 2018, the share of refinance loans for one- to four-family, owner-occupied properties made to Black borrowers increased from 5.9 percent to 6.2 percent, the share made to Hispanic-White borrowers remained unchanged at 6.8 percent, and the share made to Asian borrowers fell from 4.0 percent to 3.7 percent.
In 2018, Black and Hispanic-White applicants experienced higher denial rates for one- to four-family, owner-occupied conventional home purchase loans than non-Hispanic-White applicants. The denial rate for Asian applicants is more comparable to the denial rate for non-Hispanic-White applicants. These relationships are similar to those found in earlier years and, due to the limitations of the HMDA data, cannot take into account all legitimate credit risk considerations for loan approval and loan pricing.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured share of first-lien home purchase loans for one- to four-family, owner-occupied properties declined from 22.0 percent in 2017 to 19.3 percent in 2018. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-guaranteed share of such loans remained at approximately 10 percent in 2018. The overall government-backed share of such purchase loans, including FHA, VA, Rural Housing Service, and Farm Service Agency loans, was 32.0 percent in 2018, down slightly from 35.4 percent in 2017.
The FHA-insured share of refinance mortgages for one- to four-family, owner-occupied properties decreased slightly to 12.8 percent in 2018 from 13.0 percent in 2017, while the VA-guaranteed share of such refinance loans decreased from 11.3 percent in 2017 to 10.2 percent in 2018.
The 2018 HMDA data contains a variety of information reported for the first time. For example, the data indicated that approximately 424,000 applications were for commercial purpose loans and approximately 57,000 applications were for reverse mortgages.
In addition, among the 12.9 million applications reported, 1.3 million included at least one disaggregate racial or ethnic category. For approximately 6.3 percent of applications, race and ethnicity of the applicant were collected on the basis of visual observation or surname. The percentage was slightly higher for sex at 6.5 percent.
For the newly-reported age data point, the two most commonly reported age groups for applicants were 35-44 and 45-54, with 22.7 and 22.4 percent of total applications, respectively. Just under 3.0 percent of applicants were under 25 and just under 4.0 percent of applicants were over 74.
Credit score information was reported for 73.1 percent of all applications. Equifax Beacon 5.0, Experian Fair Isaac, and FICO Risk Score Classic 04 were the three most commonly reported credit scoring models at 22.8 percent, 18.8 percent, and 18.2 percent of total applications, respectively. For originated loans, the median primary applicant scores for these three models were between 738 and 746. This compares to medians ranging from 682 to 686 for denied applications.
Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) was reported for 75.3 percent of total applications. Approximately 45.1 percent of applications had DTIs between 36.0 percent and 50 percent, with 7.0 percent of applications with less than 20 percent, and 7.1 percent with greater than 60 percent.
Loan Pricing Data
The 2018 HMDA also contains additional pricing information. For example, the median total loan costs for originated closed-end loans was $3,949. For about 42.5 percent of originated closed-end loans, borrowers paid no discount points and received no lender credits. The median interest rate for these originated loans was 4.8 percent. The median interest rate for originated open-end lines of credit excluding reverse mortgages was 5.0 percent.
The HMDA data also identify loans that are covered by the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA). Under HOEPA, certain types of mortgage loans that have interest rates or total points and fees above specified levels are subject to certain requirements, such as additional disclosures to consumers, and also are subject to various restrictions on loan terms. For 2018, 6,681 loan originations covered by HOEPA were reported: 3,654 home purchase loans for one- to four-family properties; 448 home improvement loans for one- to four-family properties; and 2,579 refinance loans for one- to four-family properties.
Using the Data
The FFIEC states that HMDA data can facilitate the fair lending examination and enforcement process and promote market transparency. When federal banking agency examiners evaluate an institution’s fair lending risk, they analyze HMDA data in conjunction with other information and risk factors, in accordance with the Interagency Fair Lending Examination Procedures. Risk factors for pricing discrimination include, but are not limited to, the relationship between loan pricing and compensation of loan officers or mortgage brokers, the presence of broad pricing discretion, and consumer complaints.
The HMDA data alone, according to the FFIEC, cannot be used to determine whether a lender is complying with fair lending laws. While they now include many potential determinants of creditworthiness and loan pricing, such as the borrower’s credit history, debt-to-income ratio, and the loan-to-value ratio, the HMDA data may not account for all factors considered in underwriting.
Therefore, when the federal banking agencies conduct fair lending examinations, including ones involving loan pricing, they analyze additional information before reaching a determination regarding institutions’ compliance with fair lending laws.
Obtaining and Disclosing HMDA Data
In the past, HMDA-covered lenders had to make the HMDA disclosure statements available at their home and certain branch offices after receiving the statements. Now, lenders have only to post at their home offices, and other offices in MSAs a written notice that clearly informs those interested that the lender’s HMDA disclosure statement may be obtained on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website at www.consumerfinance.gov/hmda.
In addition, financial institution disclosure statements, MSA and nationwide aggregate reports for 2018 HMDA data, and tools to search and analyze the HMDA data are available at https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/data-publication/. More information about HMDA data reporting requirements is also available at https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/.
More information about HMDA data reporting requirements is available in the Frequently Asked Questions on the FFIEC website at www.ffiec.gov/hmda/faq.htm. Questions about a HMDA report for a specific lender should be directed to the lender’s supervisory agency.