National Mortgage Database Formed

14 December 2012 Consumer Class Defense Counsel Blog

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA”) have agreed to jointly produce a National Mortgage Database containing detailed mortgage loan information. In a press release dated November 1, 2012, the CFPB said: “The database will primarily be used to support the agencies’ policymaking and research efforts and to help regulators better understand emerging mortgage and housing market trends.”

The National Mortgage Database will include comprehensive information regarding a mortgage loan, from its origination through servicing, and will include borrower characteristics. It will include loan-level data about the mortgage, including the borrower’s credit profile, the terms of the mortgage, the property financed, and the payment history of the loan. Data will be updated monthly and will be available back to 1998. Additionally, this database fulfills an FHFA requirement under prior legislation to conduct a monthly mortgage market survey.

The database will not contain personally identifiable information, and appropriate precautions will be taken by the agencies to ensure that individual consumers cannot be identified through the database. However, the agencies will undoubtedly use the information from the database to better monitor the mortgage industry and to further develop consumer protections.

The agencies hope that the database will help them track the health of the mortgage markets and of consumers, by showing whether payments are being made on time, as well as information regarding loan modifications, foreclosures, and bankruptcies. The database will also be used to conduct surveys to understand consumer decision-making and how they shop for mortgages and deal with distressed homeownership. The agencies will also monitor the performance of various products to identify potential problems or risks. The database will allow policy makers to see how many mortgages consumers may have and how they are performing. The database will be the first comprehensive database to permit such analysis. The database will also include information about a borrower’s other debts, such as auto loans and student loans.

The agencies expect early versions of the full dataset to be complete in 2013. The agencies hope to be able to share database information with other federal agencies, academics an the public once the database is complete.

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