In 1975, Congress enacted the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The statute can be found at 12 U.S.C.S. §2801. In its findings and declaration of purpose, Congress stated the following:
The Congress finds that some depository institutions have sometimes contributed to the decline of certain geographic areas by their failure pursuant to their chartering responsibilities to provide adequate home financing to qualified applicants on reasonable terms and conditions.
The purpose of this [law] is to provide the citizens and public officials of the United States with sufficient information to enable them to determine whether depository institutions are filling their obligations to serve the housing needs of the communities and neighborhoods in which they are located and to assist public officials in their determination of the distribution of public sector investments in a manner designed to improve the private investment environment.
HMDA is implemented by Regulation C, an administrative regulation promulgated by the Federal Reserve Board. Briefly stated, HMDA and Regulation C were designed so that information could be gathered on whether certain financial institutions serve the housing credit needs of the neighborhoods in which they are located.
The provisions of HMDA apply to depository and non-depository lenders which meet certain criteria set forth in the law.
What must covered institutions report?
- data on loan applications, originations, and purchases
- the race, sex, and income of mortgage applicants and borrowers
- the class of purchaser for mortgage loans, and
- the reasons for their decision not to grant credit
The information reported by covered institutions is available for review by the public.
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