Agencies partner to develop nationwide mortgage database

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Two federal agencies are joining forces to create a nationwide mortgage database they say will help track mortgage and housing market trends and support future consumer protection legislation.

In a Nov. 1 announcement, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the latter the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, say they have signed an agreement to develop, maintain and fund the database, with its construction to be completed in 2013.

The National Mortgage Database will be developed by matching a nationwide sampling of credit bureau files on mortgages and payment histories, information from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act database, property valuation models, and other data.

"In order to understand what is going on in the mortgage marketplace and develop appropriate consumer protections, we must have the best facts and data," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

Agencies hope the database will assist them in monitoring the health of mortgage markets, define a pattern of consumer decision making, monitor new mortgage products, and understand the current debt burden as well as average other obligations such as auto loans and student loans.

It will include data that spans the life of a mortgage loan as well as some characteristics of the borrowers themselves. The agencies say this data will likely include "the borrower's financial and credit profile; the mortgage product and terms; the property purchased or refinanced; and the ongoing payment history of the loan."

The agencies hope to update the database monthly and reach as far back as 1998 for its historical dataset. FHFA says that the database will fulfill a requirement from the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 for the agency to conduct a monthly mortgage market survey.

The release stressed that the database will not contain personally identifiable information and says agencies will take steps to prevent consumers from being identified through any data collected or released.

For more:
- read the announcement from CFPB and FHFA

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