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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB analyzes HMDA data of small to medium-size lenders

Federal Issues CFPB HMDA Mortgages Consumer Lending Consumer Finance

Federal Issues

On June 14, the CFPB released a report analyzing differences in certain loan and borrower characteristics and general lending patterns for lenders below and above the 100-loan closed-end threshold set by the 2020 HMDA final rule. As previously covered by InfoBytes, last year the Bureau issued a final rule permanently raising coverage thresholds for collecting and reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans under HMDA from 25 to 100 loans.

While the Bureau notes that the “analysis is necessarily limited and preliminary,” the report’s findings, which analyzed publicly available HMDA data from 2019 for which the 25-loan threshold still applied, show, among other things, that (i) lenders that are exempt under the 2020 final rule (those whose origination volume exceeds the 25-loan threshold but falls below the 100-loan threshold) “do not appear to be more likely to lend to Black and non-White Hispanic borrowers than larger volume lenders”; (ii) these lenders may be more likely to lend to non-natural person borrowers such as trusts, partnerships, and corporations; (iii) a higher percentage of these loans are secured by properties in low-to-moderate income (LMI) census tracts, properties in rural areas, second liens, and investment properties; (iv) these lenders tend to make more loans to borrowers who appear to have higher income levels than large lenders’ borrowers; and (v) a slightly higher percentage of loans made by these lenders are secured by manufactured homes than by lenders with origination volumes over 300. According to the Bureau’s blog post, the “findings are consistent with a possible explanation that lenders below the 2020 rule’s 100-loan closed-end threshold are making more loans to investors buying up property in [LMI] census tracts for rental or resale.”