HUD Finalizes Rule To Make More Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Mortgage Data Available To The Public

November 11, 2005

WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development has published a final rule that establishes procedures for determining whether certain types of loan level data on mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two Government Sponsored Enterprises (or GSEs), can be released to the public. The new rule could have the effect of making more GSE data available to the public, thereby facilitating research on affordable lending and housing markets.

The rule establishes new procedures to allow for additional circumstances under which data currently classified as proprietary could be reclassified as non-proprietary data. The new procedures allow for the possible public release of GSE mortgage data (both at the loan level and in aggregated form) that the Department determines, by regulation or order, to reclassify from proprietary to non-proprietary status for prospective release. In these instances, the regulation or order may also provide for the release of the corresponding data for all preceding years as well. Another new provision will permit the Department to reconsider the proprietary status of data that have aged at least five years and to re-classify such data to non-proprietary status on a case-by-case basis if additional analysis, as required by HUD’s current regulations, supports this reclassification.

The new rule does not alter HUD’s duty under its existing regulations to evaluate the implications of releasing any loan-level mortgage data, including the probable impact on consumer and business privacy issues, before determining the proprietary status of the data.

HUD’s new final rule is consistent with a Congressional mandate under the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (FHEFSSA) that HUD make available, in forms useful to the public, data submitted by the GSEs relating to their mortgage purchases to fill the ”information vacuum” that Congress determined existed prior to enactment of FHEFSSA.

Source: HUD