Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)

Source Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
File Size 3 GB (2014)
Dates Covered 2014 (contact the library for data from 1992-2013)
Cost Snapshot

  • Members $50
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**IRE members should purchase the data here in order to get the discounted rate. Not an IRE member? You can purchase this data using ProPublica’s Data Store.**

Buying this product only gets you the most recent year of HMDA data, from 2014. For archived years back to 1992, please contact the data library. For years previous, please contact the library.

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) requires all banks, savings and loans, savings banks and credit unions with assets of more than $33 million and offices in metropolitan areas to report mortgage applications. This act was enacted by Congress in 1975 and is implemented by the Federal Reserve Boards Regulation C. Banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and mortgage and consumer finance companies are required to report HMDA data if they meet legal criteria for coverage.

There were about 11.7 million loan records for calendar year (CY) 2014 reported by 7,062 financial institutions. These records include applications for home purchase, for home improvement, and for refinancing (see the field “PURPOSE” in the main HMDA table). The total record count is down 30 percent from CY 2013, although home purchases are up by four percent.

Data generated by HMDA provides information on lending practices. The main data set is the Loan Application Register (LAR), called HMDA in the files provided by NICAR. It contains demographic information about loan applicants, including race, gender and income; the purpose of the loan (i.e. home purchase or improvement); whether the buyer intends to live in the home; the type of loan (i.e. conventional, FHA insured, etc.); a new field starting in 2004 called “spread,” showing the difference between Treasury security interest rate and the loans interest rate; and the outcome of the loan application (i.e. approved or declined). The lenders are given the opportunity to note reasons for denial in three fields, but those are seldom used.

The LAR data also includes geographical information on applicants, such as Census tract, MA (metropolitan area), state and county, total population and percentage of minority population by Census tract, is included as well.

Names, addresses, and other information on lending institutions are stored in the Transmittal Sheet (TS) and Reporter’s Panel (RP) tables, and can be joined to the LAR data.

Record layouts and samples of this database

Schema (HMDA.pdf) 196.4 KB
Sample data (hmda.XLS) 102.5 KB
Main documentation (readme.txt) 11.1 KB
Main loan table layout (hmda_layout.txt) 10.5 KB

Related Tipsheets

  • Burrowing into HMDA
    A run down on what you need to have to do HMDA data based stories and what pitfalls to watch out for in said data. A list of upcoming changes to the HMDA data is also included.
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act: Working with new race/ethnicity categories
    Paula Lavigne discusses how to use HMDA data to analyze lending variations by race and ethnicity. Lavigne discusses the recent changes in Race/ethnicity reporting requirements and how to best analyze the data.
  • Using CAR for covering housing foreclosures
    At the 2007 CAR Conference, Jill Reipenhoff and Geoff Dutton shared various sources of information useful for investigations about home foreclosures. Some of the sources include the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, county auditors, and the National Delinquency Survey. The authors also share some examples of their own analysis on the topic.
  • The Bailout – Tracking the Money
    Donald and Dunbar give pointers on tracking the bailout money funds. Included are links to Web sites and datasets to help inform stories on the bailout. Links provided include information on: subprime lenders; bailout cash/TARP funds; banking data; and enforcement actions.

Related Stories

  • Buying a Home
    Banks and mortgage companies still do relatively little business among minorities and in minority neighborhoods. That applies to even the biggest banks, which under law must serve the entire area where they take deposits. Lenders still reject minority mortgage applicants far more frequently than whites. Even high income minorities are rejected more frequently than whites with lower incomes. These patterns don’t prove illegal discrimination. But taken with interviews with dozens of loan applicants, bankers, community activists, regulators and researchers, they show that barriers to minority homeownership still stand.
  • The Hard Truth In Lending
    This three-day series looked at many facets of home lending. The reporters used mortgage loan data from 25 top lenders to show that blacks who bought homes in communities across America in 2004 were four times as likely as whites to get high interest rates for mortgage loans. The interest rate disparities occurred even when blacks had substantially higher incomes.
  • Broken Dreams
    This story utilized HMDA data, foreclosure reports and experts to explain how a wave of unstable mortgage loans were causing increasing numbers of uninformed borrowers to lose their homes. The investigation illustrated the problems faced by many people who, being unfamiliar with buying a home, ended up accepting very harsh terms on their loans and mortgages. Experts predict that this situation will lead to a rise in forclosures in the area.
  • The Final Frontier
    This investigation looks into the Chicago Housing Authority and demographic changes that have occurred with the destruction of public housing. Starting with 1995, The Chicago Reporter analyzed residential property transactions and home mortgage lending data, as well as Census data to track significant racial and economic shifts over the years.