Dangerous Disparities: The Rise in High Cost FHA Lending

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1 Dangerous Disparities: The Rise in High Cost FHA Lending July 2010 Jordan Ash, Community Research for Action

2 Table of Contents Introduction and Summary of Findings 3 The Increase in FHA Lending 7 High-Cost FHA Loans 9 Disparities in High-Cost FHA Loans 10 High Cost FHA Loans and Big Banks 17 FHA Loans and Risk-Based Pricing 21 New FHA Changes 24 Conclusion and Recommendations 25 Appendices 27 2

3 Introduction and Summary of Findings The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was created at a time that in many ways resembled our current economic situation. As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke explained: The housing sector, like the rest of the economy was profoundly affected by the Great Depression. When Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933, almost 10 percent of all homes were in foreclosure, construction employment had fallen by half from its late 1920s peak, and a banking system near collapse was providing little new credit 1. In order to stimulate more mortgage lending and help lenders offer more attractive terms, the FHA provided a federally backed insurance system that would compensate lenders for their losses if homeowners defaulted on their loans. FHA insurance has allowed lenders to make FHA loans with more flexible underwriting guidelines. Until very recently, FHA loans did not use credit scores. Borrowers had to have a good payment history on their bills, but their actual score was irrelevant. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures mortgages that meet FHA requirements and that are made by FHA-approved lenders. If a homeowner defaults on an FHA mortgage, the insurance will pay the mortgage servicer so that the servicer does not incur any losses. Tax-payers are not on the hook for the cost of protecting the banks and servicers against losses on FHA loans. The cost of the FHA insurance is paid by the homeowners as part of their mortgages, and typically homeowners have to pay the insurance until their remaining loan amount is seventy-eight percent of the value of the value of their home. (The premiums that homeowners pay fund not only the lender claims for losses but also the administrative costs of the FHA.) FHA loans have played an important and valuable role in helping boost homeownership in underserved communities. By accepting modest down payments and not relying on credit scores, FHA loans have helped many families who otherwise would not have been able to realize their dream of home ownership. Seventy-nine percent of FHA purchase loans made 1 Ben Bernanke, speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium, (Jackson Hole, WY), August 31,

4 last year were to first-time homebuyers, and thirty-two percent were made to minority firsttime buyers 2. However, the program has a checkered past. From its inception until the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, the FHA openly engaged in redlining, The FHA had an explicit policy that it would not insure mortgages made in minority or integrated neighborhoods. Since lenders would not make loans without the insurance that protected them in case of default, this policy had the effect of denying credit to entire communities. In the 1990 s the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which oversees the FHA, uncovered a substantial amount of abuse in the FHA program by lenders and sellers seeking to take advantage of first-time homebuyers and using FHA loans to carry out property flipping scams. More recently, FHA loans were used by sellers, especially homebuilders, with down payment assistance programs that the IRS called scams. In these programs, the seller contributed the amount of the down payment to a supposed non-profit group which laundered the money and then passed it on as a grant to the buyer. Loans with this type of down-payment assistance have defaulted at three times the rate of other FHA loans, but the lenders do not incur any losses since the loans were backed by HUD 3. In our current crisis, the FHA finds itself in a situation reminiscent of its origins during the Depression. As conventional mortgage lending has declined sharply over the last few years, FHA lending has been a major pillar propping up the ailing economy and preventing an even more devastating housing crash. There has been a huge increase in government-backed FHA lending, both in the number of FHA loans made as well as the share of the overall mortgage market that FHA loans account for. Lenders made approximately 840,000 FHA purchase loans in 2008, almost three times more than they made in In 2006 FHA loans made up less than 5% of the home purchase market. Now, just a few years later, FHA loans account for almost 30% of all home purchases 5 and 40% of the purchases of newly constructed homes 6. 2 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Housing Administration Annual Management Report: Fiscal Year James Sterngold, Reviving Down-Payment Assistance Program Faces FHA Opposition, Business Week, January 21, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHA-Insured Single-Family Mortgage Originations and Market Share Report 2009 Q-3, February 4, FHA-Insured Single-Family Mortgage Originations 6, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHA Single Family Activity in the Home Purchase Market through November 2009, February 23,

5 FHA mortgages are even more central to minority homeownership. In 2008, 51% of African-American homebuyers and 45% of Latino homebuyers used an FHA loan to buy their home, compared to 27% of white homebuyers. In 2005, FHA loans had been used by just 9% of African- American homebuyers and 5% of Latino homebuyers 7. With the increased role that FHA loans are playing in the mortgage market now, and the ways that the program has been abused in the past, it s more important than ever to make sure that FHA loans are meeting responsible lending standards. One particular area of concern is the evidence indicating that African-Americans, Latinos, and homebuyers in lower income and minority neighborhoods are paying higher rates on their FHA loans. Because of the nature of FHA lending, this disparity cannot justifiably be attributed to the risk factors of different borrowers. As the public awareness of the problems caused by subprime lending grew over the last decade, so too did the recognition of the racial disparities in the subprime market. Numerous studies found that African-American and Latino borrowers received high-priced subprime mortgages far more frequently than whites did. Mortgage lenders said they charged borrowers of color higher rates because they had worse credit, but the Center for Responsible Lending found that African-American and Latinos were a third more likely than whites to get a high-priced loan even when they were equally qualified and had the same credit scores. 8 In 2008 for the first time, a large number of FHA loans were classified as High-Cost 9. In 2008 one out of every nine FHA purchase loans (11.6%) were considered High-Cost; whereas in 2007 just one out of every forty (2.6%) was High-Cost. African-Americans, Latinos, and homebuyers in lower income and minority neighborhoods were significantly more likely to be given a High-Cost FHA loan. Nationally: 7 Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, speech at the National Action Network Reverend Dr. William A. Jones Memorial Luncheon, April 16, 2010, and Graciela Aponte, National Council of La Raza, The Impact of FHA Reform on Latino and Other Underserved Communities, testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, March 11, Debbie Gruenstein Bocian, Keith S. Ernst, and Wei Li, Unfair Lending: The Effect of Race and Ethnicity on the Price of Subprime Mortgages, May 31, The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) requires mortgage lenders to report information regarding their high cost, or subprime, loans. High cost loans are defined by the Federal Reserve as having an annual percentage rate (APR) at least three percentage points higher than the rate on Treasury Security of the same length. On average for 2008, this meant APRs above 7.25%. 5

6 Homebuyers in low and moderate income neighborhoods were twice as likely as homebuyers in upper-income neighborhoods to receive a High-Cost FHA mortgage 10. Homebuyers in minority neighborhoods were one and half times more likely than homebuyers in predominantly white neighborhoods to receive a High-Cost FHA loan 11. African-Americans and Latinos were one and a half times more likely than whites to receive a High-Cost loan when buying a house with an FHA mortgage. In this report we examine the increase in originations of FHA home purchase loans, the percentage of FHA purchase loans that were designated High-Cost, and the racial, geographic, and economic disparities in which homebuyers were more likely to receive a High-Cost FHA loan. We review these categories nationally and for the thirty largest individual metropolitan areas, looking at the aggregate of all mortgage lenders, as well as specifically for the four largest banks in the country, which are also the nation s four largest mortgage lenders. 10 Low and moderate income neighborhoods are defined as census tracts in which the median income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Upper income neighborhoods are census tracts in which the median income is above 120% of the AMI. 11 Minority neighborhoods are defined as census tracts in which minority residents make up more than half of the population. White neighborhoods are census tracts in which white residents make up at least 80% of the population. 6

7 The Increase in FHA Lending NATIONAL The mortgage market has undergone significant changes over the last few years. There has been a huge increase both in the number of FHA purchase loans originated and in the share of the overall mortgage market that FHA loans account for. The collapse of the subprime industry, the disappearance of the private securitization market, and greater restrictions imposed by private mortgage insurance companies resulted in a large drop in conventional lending 12. The number of conventional purchase loans fell from 3.9 million in 2006 to 2.9 million in 2007 and then to 1.5 million in As a result, more lenders turned to FHA loans, which could still be made easily since they were backed by HUD. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 spurred additional FHA lending by raising the size limits for FHA-insured loans in areas of the country with high housing prices 14. The number of FHA purchase loans nationally almost tripled from less than 300,000 in 2006 to over 840,000 in In 2006 FHA loans made up less than 5% of all purchase mortgages made in the United States. Two years later FHA loans accounted for 24% of the purchase mortgage market, and this figure has continued to grow. In 2009, FHA loans made up almost 30% all purchase mortgages 16. In 2006 FHA loans made up less than 6% of all mortgages used to buy new homes. By 2008 this had shot up to 27% and kept rising to almost 40% in Conventional loans are mortgage loans other than those insured or guaranteed by a government agency such as the FHA, the VA (Veterans Administration), or the Rural Development Services (formerly know as Farmers Home Administration, or FmHA). 13 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data 14 Robert B. Avery, Neil Bhutta, Kenneth P. Brevoort, Glenn B. Canner, and Christa N. Gibbs, The 2008 HMDA Data: The Mortgage Market During a Turbulent Year, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 23, FHA-Insured Single-Family Mortgage Originations 16 Ibid 17 FHA Single Family Activity in the Home Purchase Market 7

8 Percentage of All Purchase Mortgages that are FHA Loans 18 INDIVUDAL METROPOLITAN AREAS FHA s increased role in the mortgage market can also be seen in individual metropolitan areas. From 2007 to 2008 the number of FHA purchase originations increased in all of the thirty largest metropolitan areas, and the number doubled in twenty-eight of the thirty metro areas. The largest increases were in California, which has historically had low levels of FHA lending, primarily due to an FHA maximum loan limit that was far below the prices of much of California s housing stock. The number of FHA purchase originations increased by over 1,000% in six of the thirty metropolitan areas, The five metro areas with the largest percentage increase in the number of FHA purchase loans originated were: =San Francisco, CA (37,000% increase); Los Angeles, CA (3,524%); San Diego, CA (2,694%); Sacramento, CA (1,646%); and Riverside-San Bernardino, CA (1,462%). Metropolitan Statistical Area Number of FHA Originations in 2007 Number of FHA Originations in 2008 San Francisco, CA Los Angeles, CA ,039 Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 1,260 19,690 San Diego, CA 171 4,777 Sacramento, CA 459 8,013 The increase in FHA lending for each of the thirty largest metropolitan areas is listed in Appendix A. 18 FHA-Insured Single-Family Mortgage Originations 8

9 High-Cost FHA Loans In response to the growing concern about predatory lending and discriminatory pricing, the Federal Reserve Board issued new guidelines for the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Starting in 2004, lenders had to report loans that had a high rate, and thus were considered subprime. High Cost loans were defined in the HMDA guidelines as first mortgages with an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) at least three percentage points above the rate on comparable U.S. Treasury securities. From 2005 through 2007 this meant an average APR close to 8%, while 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged around 6%. In 2008 on average, the threshold for whether a mortgage was High Cost was an APR above 7.25% As shown in the chart below, High Cost subprime loans were mostly limited to conventional mortgages. The conventional market used risk-based pricing, which in theory meant that lenders charged higher rates to compensate for the greater risk of certain borrowers. In contrast, with FHA loans borrowers either qualified or they didn t. Lenders were not supposed to charge higher rates based on the risk because the lender in fact assumes no risk on a borrower whose loan is underwritten by the FHA. However, in 2008 for the first time there were a significant number of FHA loans that were High-Cost. One out of every nine FHA purchase loans was High-Cost. Percentage of Purchase Loans That Were High Cost Type of Loan Conventional 11.6% 24.6% 25.4% 14.1% 7.3% FHA 1.6% 1.2% 2.6% 4.3% 11.6% According to researchers at the Federal Reserve, the increase in High Cost FHA loans was not due to lenders charging higher rates than they previously had, but instead to several other factors, such as: using the rate on Treasury securities as a baseline threshold; the change in the relationship between short-term and longer-term yields; and FHA insurance and guarantee fees 19. However, the Fed s rationale would not explain the racial, economic, and geographic disparities in terms of which homebuyers paid the higher rates, which will be examined in greater detail below. 19 Avery, Bhutta, Brevoort, Canner, and Gibbs. The Federal Reserve Board changed its guidelines in 2008 so that for loans made in 2010 and after, whether or not a loan was High-Cost would be determined by a comparison to the rate for prime mortgages found in Freddie Mac s Prime Mortgage Market Survey, instead of Treasury rates. 9

10 Disparities in High Cost FHA Loans The racial, economic, and geographic disparities in High Cost FHA loans have been present since the HMDA rule change went into effect in These disparities have received little attention previously because of the small number of FHA loans made, relative to conventional loans, and because of the relatively small percentage of FHA loans that were considered High Cost, compared to the much larger percentage of conventional loans. Now that FHA loans are playing a much bigger role in the mortgage market and the percentage of FHA loans considered High Cost has increased, this disparity demands attention. Unlike with conventional loans, these disparities cannot be explained by lender claims that some borrowers were charged more due to differences in credit or other circumstances that posed a greater risk. FHA loans do not use the same type of risk-based pricing as conventional subprime loans used. Generally, a borrower s credit is either good enough to get an FHA loan or it s not. GEOGRAPHIC DISPARITIES While the greater percentage of FHA loans that were High Cost increased in all 30 of the largest metropolitan areas between 2007 and 2008, the percentages varied widely. The percentages in 2008 ranged from 3% in Portland, Oregon to 25% in Detroit, Michigan. Areas with the Highest Percentage of High Cost FHA Loans in 2008 Metropolitan Statistical Area Detroit, MI 25% 16% New York, NY 21% 18% Los Angeles, CA 17% 3% San Francisco, CA 17% 0% Miami, FL 17% 6% Areas with the Lowest Percentage of High Cost FHA Loans in 2008 Metropolitan Statistical Area Denver, CO 7% 1% Washington, DC 7% 3% Seattle, WA 6% 1% Minneapolis, MN 5% 1% Portland, OR 3% 1% The percentages of FHA loans in 2008 and 2007 that were High Cost in each of the thirty largest metropolitan areas are listed in Appendix B. 10

11 ECONOMIC DISPARITIES NATIONAL The racial, economic, and geographic disparities in High Cost FHA loans have been present since the HMDA rule change went into effect in These disparities have received little attention previously because of the small number of FHA loans made, relative to conventional loans, and because of the relatively small percentage of FHA loans that were considered High Cost, compared to the much larger percentage of conventional loans. Now that FHA loans are playing a much bigger role in the mortgage market and the percentage of FHA loans considered High Cost has increased, this disparity demands attention. The disparities in FHA lending resemble those in conventional lending. Nationally, in 2008: Homebuyers in low and moderate income neighborhoods were 2.7 times more likely than buyers in upper-income neighborhoods to receive a subprime mortgage when buying a home with a conventional loan 20. Homebuyers in low and moderate income neighborhoods were twice as likely as homebuyers in upper-income neighborhoods to receive a High Cost FHA loan. Approximately one out of every five FHA purchase loans made in a low-income neighborhood was High Cost, as was one out of every six FHA purchase loans made in a moderate-income neighborhood. In contrast, just one out of every eleven FHA purchase loans made in upperincome neighborhoods was High Cost. 20 Low and moderate income neighborhoods are defined as census tracts in which the median income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Upper income neighborhoods are defined as census tracts in which the median income is above 120% of the AMI. 11

12 INDIVUDAL METROPOLITAN AREAS Low-income Neighborhoods 21 Homebuyers in low-income neighborhoods were more likely than buyers in upper income neighborhoods to receive a High Cost FHA loan in all but two of the thirty largest metropolitan areas in the country. In five of the metropolitan areas examined buyers in low-income neighborhoods were over 3.5 times more likely than buyers in upper income neighborhoods to receive a High-Cost FHA loan: Orlando, FL (5.4 times more likely); Kansas City, MO (5.1 times); Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (4.3); St. Louis, MO (3.8), and Philadelphia, PA (3.7). Percentage of FHA Loans That Were High Cost in 2008 Metropolitan Statistical Area Upper Income Neighborhoods Low Income Neighborhoods Orlando, FL 7.5% 40.0% Kansas City, MO 5.9% 29.6% Minneapolis, MN 3.4% 14.6% St. Louis MO 8.5% 32.0% Philadelphia, PA 7.2% 26.6% The only three metropolitan areas in which buyers in low-income neighborhoods were less likely than buyers in upper-income neighborhoods to receive a High Cost FHA loan were San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, and Las Vegas, NV. Low and Moderate Income Neighborhoods 22 In all of the thirty largest metropolitan areas buyers in low and moderate income neighborhoods were more likely than buyers in upper income neighborhoods to receive a High Cost FHA loan. The five metro areas with the greatest disparity between buyers in low and moderate income neighborhoods and buyers in upper income neighborhoods were: San Antonio, TX (3.7 times more likely) Kansas City, MO (3.5 times); Philadelphia, PA (2.9); Denver, CO (2.9), and Sacramento, CA (2.6) 21 Low- income neighborhoods are defined as census tracts in which the median income is less than 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Upper income neighborhoods are defined as census tracts in which the median income is above 120% of the AMI. 22 Low and moderate income neighborhoods are defined as census tracts in which the median income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Upper income neighborhoods are defined as census tracts in which the median income is above 120% of the AMI. 12

13 Percentage of FHA Loans That Were High Cost in 2008 Metropolitan Statistical Area Upper Income Neighborhoods Low and Moderate Income Neighborhoods San Antonio, TX 6.8% 25.1% Kansas City, MO 5.8% 20.6% Philadelphia, PA 7.2% 21.2% Denver, CO 3.8% 11.0% Sacramento, CA 6.0% 15.5% The percentages of FHA loans that were High Cost in low, moderate, and upper income neighborhoods in each of the thirty largest metropolitan areas are listed in Appendix C. 13

14 RACIAL AND ETHNIC DISPARITIES Minority Neighborhoods 23 NATIONAL Nationally, homebuyers in minority neighborhoods were one and half times more likely than homebuyers in predominantly white neighborhoods to receive a High Cost loan when buying a house with an FHA mortgage. Approximately one out of every six FHA purchase loans made in a minority neighborhood was High Cost, compared to just one out of every ten FHA purchase loans made in white neighborhoods. INDIVIDUAL METROPOLITAN AREAS In all but two of the thirty largest metropolitan areas buyers in minority neighborhoods were more likely than buyers in predominantly white neighborhoods to receive a High Cost FHA loan. The five metro areas in which buyers in minority neighborhoods were the most likely compared to buyers in white neighborhoods to receive a High Cost FHA loan were: Minneapolis, MN (3.6 times more likely); Denver, CO (2.9 times); Philadelphia, PA (2.5); Dallas, TX (2.4); and Baltimore, MD (2.1). Percentage of FHA Purchase Loans That Were High Cost in 2008 Metropolitan Statistical Area White Neighborhoods Minority Neighborhoods Minneapolis, MN 4.2% 15.0% Denver, CO 3.8% 11.0% Philadelphia, PA 9.2% 23.4% Dallas, TX 10.8% 25.7% Baltimore, MD 6.8% 14.2% The only two metropolitan areas in which buyers in minority neighborhoods were less likely than buyers in white neighborhoods to receive a High Cost FHA loan were San Francisco, CA and Tampa, FL. The percentage of FHA loans that are High Cost in minority and white neighborhoods in each of the thirty largest metropolitan areas is listed in Appendix D. 23 Minority neighborhoods are defined as census tracts in which minority residents make up more than half of the population. White neighborhoods are defined as neighborhoods in which white residents make up at least 80% of the population. 14

15 Borrower Race and Ethnicity NATIONAL In 2008, African-Americans and Latinos were one and a half times more likely than whites to receive a High Cost loan when buying a house with an FHA mortgage. Over 15% of the FHA purchase loans made to African-American and Latino homebuyers were High Cost, compared to just 10% of the FHA purchase loans made to white buyers. Individual Metropolitan Areas AFRICAN-AMERICAN HOMEBUYERS African-American homebuyers were more likely than white buyers to receive a High Cost FHA loan in twenty-eight of the thirty largest metropolitan areas in the country. In the five metropolitan areas with the greatest disparity, African-Americans were at least twice as likely as whites to receive a high cost loan when buying a house with an FHA mortgage: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (2.6 times more likely); San Francisco, CA (2.6); Riverside-San Bernardino, CA (2.6), Philadelphia, PA (2.4); and Chicago, IL (2.1). Percentage of FHA Purchase Mortgages that were High Cost in 2008 Metropolitan Area White African-American Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 4.2% 15.5% San Francisco, CA 17.5% 45.5% Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 11.5% 30.1% Philadelphia, PA 8.7% 20.9% Chicago, IL 11.8% 24.6% African-American buyers were less likely than whites to receive a High Cost FHA loan in just two of the metropolitan areas covered in this report: Tampa, FL and Portland, OR. Percentage of FHA Purchase Mortgages that are High Cost in 2008 Metropolitan Area White African-American Tampa, FL 9.5% 9.2% Portland, OR 3.5% 1.2% LATINO HOMEBUYERS Latino homebuyers were more likely than white buyers to receive a High Cost FHA loan in twenty-seven of the thirty largest metropolitan areas in the country. The five metropolitan areas examined with the greatest disparity between Latino and white homebuyers were: Washington, DC (2.6 times more likely); Philadelphia, PA (2.5 times); Denver, CO (2.4); San Antonio, TX (2.2); and Las Vegas, NV. 15

16 Percentage of FHA Purchase Mortgages that are High Cost 2008 Metropolitan Area White Latino Washington, DC 4.8% 12.6% Philadelphia, PA 8.7% 22.1% Denver, CO 5.7% 13.5% San Antonio, TX 7.7% 16.6% Las Vegas, NV 7.3% 16.4% Latino buyers were less likely than white buyers to receive a High Cost FHA loan in just three of the metropolitan areas covered in this report: Cincinnati, OH; Portland, OR; and Tampa, FL. Percentage of FHA Purchase Mortgages that are High Cost 2008 Metropolitan Area White Latino Portland, OR 3.5% 2.4% Tampa, FL 9.5% 9.3% Cincinnati, OH 9.6% 7.4% The percentages of FHA loans that were High-Cost for African-American, Latino, and white homebuyers in each of the thirty largest metropolitan areas are listed in Appendix E. 16

17 High-Cost FHA Loans and Big Banks In this section we look at the racial and economic disparities in the FHA lending of the four largest banks in the country, Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, which are also the four largest mortgage companies in the country. Each of them charged higher rates on FHA loans to minority homebuyers and to homebuyers in lower income and minority neighborhoods than they did to white homebuyers and to buyers in upper-income and white neighborhoods. We examine the total of each bank s FHA lending for the thirty largest metropolitan areas in the country 24, as well as each banks lending in individual metro areas, and identify instances of the greatest disparity. In determining the largest disparity, we have excluded cases where a bank made less than 100 FHA purchase loans in a specific metro area. Low and Moderate Income Neighborhoods 25 Homebuyers in low and moderate income neighborhoods were almost 3 times more likely than buyers in upper income neighborhoods to receive a High Cost FHA loan at Wells Fargo and almost twice as likely at Citibank, Chase and Bank of America. Percentage of FHA Purchase Loans that were High Cost in 2008 Upper Income Low and Moderate Neighborhoods Income Ratio of Low and Moderate Income to Upper Income Neighborhoods Wells Fargo 4.6% 12.9% 2.8 CitiMortgage 7.1% 13.0% 1.8 JP Morgan Chase 6.4% 10.7% 1.7 Bank of America 3.9% 6.5% Based on the banks HMDA reported loans 25 Low and moderate income neighborhoods are census tracts in which the median income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Upper income neighborhoods are census tracts in which the median income is above 120% of the AMI. 17

18 Greatest Disparity between Low to-moderate Income and Upper Income Neighborhoods Percentage of FHA Purchase Loans that were High-Cost in 2008 Bank Metro Area Upper Income Neighborhoods Low and Moderate Income Neighborhoods Ratio of Low and Moderate Income to Upper Income Bank of America Atlanta, GA 0.5% 4.7% 10.3 Wells Fargo San Antonio, TX 2.0% 18.9% 9.7 Wells Fargo Dallas, TX 1.9% 15.2% 7.9 Bank of America Sacramento, CA 1.5% 8.6% 5.9 Chase Riverside, CA 2.6% 14.3% 5.5 The disparities between the percentages of FHA loans that are High Cost in low and moderate income neighborhoods compared to upper income neighborhoods in each of the thirty largest metropolitan areas by each of the four largest banks are listed in Appendix F. Minority Neighborhoods 26 Homebuyers in minority neighborhoods were more than twice as likely as buyers in white neighborhoods to receive a High Cost FHA loan at Wells Fargo and Citibank, over one and a half times more likely at Bank of America, and slightly more likely at Chase. Percentage of FHA Purchase Loans that were High Cost in 2008 White Neighborhoods Minority Neighborhoods Ratio of Minority to White Neighborhoods Wells Fargo 5.7% 13.4% 2.3 CitiMortgage 6.8% 12.4% 1.8 Bank of America 4.2% 6.8% 1.6 JP Morgan Chase 7.8% 10.2% 1.3 Greatest Disparity between Minority and White Neighborhoods Percentage of FHA Purchase Loans that were High Cost in 2008 Ratio of Minority to Bank Metro Area White Neighborhoods Minority Neighborhoods White Neighborhoods Bank of America Las Vegas, NV 0.7% 5.6% 7.7 Wells Fargo Minneapolis, MN 3.2% 19.8% 6.2 Wells Fargo Denver, CO 1.8% 10.3% 5.8 Bank of America Phoenix, AZ 1.2% 5.1% 4.3 Bank of America Dallas, TX 2.4% 9.7% Minority neighborhoods are census tracts in which people of color make up more than half of the population. White neighborhoods are census tracts in which people of color make up less than 20% of the population. 18

19 The disparities between the percentages of FHA loans that are High Cost in minority neighborhoods compared to white neighborhoods in each of the thirty largest metropolitan areas by each of the four largest banks are listed in Appendix G. Race and Ethnicity African-American homebuyers were more than twice as likely as white homebuyers to receive a High Cost FHA loan at Wells Fargo and Citibank, but only slightly more likely at Chase and Bank of America. Percentage of FHA Loans that were High Cost in 2008 Bank White Homebuyers African-American Homebuyers Ratio of African- American to White Wells Fargo 5.8% 13.6% 2.3 CitiMortgage 7.1% 15.6% 2.2 JP Morgan Chase 7.7% 9.8% 1.3 Bank of America 4.3% 5.1% 1.2 Greatest Disparity between African-American Homebuyers and White Homebuyers Percentage of FHA Purchase Loans that were High Cost in 2008 Ratio of African- Bank Metro Area White Homebuyers African-American Homebuyers American to White Bank of America Sacramento, CA 0.9% 10.5% 11.3 JP Morgan Chase Los Angeles, CA 5.9% 23.1% 3.9 Wells Fargo Chicago, IL 8.0% 30.4% 3.8 Bank of America Philadelphia, PA 3.7% 13.0% 3.5 Wells Fargo Philadelphia, PA 5.3% 18.3% 3.4 The disparities between the percentages of FHA loans that are High-Cost made to African- American and white homebuyers in each of the thirty largest metropolitan areas by each of the four largest banks are listed in Appendix H. Latino homebuyers were two times more likely than white buyers to receive a High Cost FHA loan at Wells Fargo, 1.5 times more likely at Bank of America and Citibank, and slightly more likely at Chase. Percentage of FHA Loans that were High Cost in 2008 Bank White Homebuyers Latino Homebuyers Ratio of Latino to White Wells Fargo 5.8% 11.4% 2.0 Bank of America 4.3% 6.5% 1.5 CitiMortgage 7.1% 10.9% 1.5 JP Morgan Chase 7.7% 9.5%

20 Greatest Disparity between Latino and White Homebuyers White Latino Homebuyers Homebuyers Ratio of Latino to White Bank Metro Area Wells Fargo Denver, CO 3.50% 13.81% 4.0 JP Morgan Chase Denver, CO 3.47% 12.50% 3.6 Bank of America Sacramento, CA 0.93% 3.13% 3.3 JP Morgan Chase San Diego, CA 6.25% 20.00% 3.2 The disparities between the percentages of FHA loans that are High Cost made to Latino and white homebuyers in each of the thirty largest metropolitan areas by each of the four largest banks are listed in Appendix I. 20

21 Risk-Based Pricing CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGES FHA loans have never had the kind of risk-based pricing on interest rates that characterized the conventional subprime lending market. The rate sheets of New Century Mortgage, which was the second largest subprime lender in the country until it went bankrupt, demonstrate the range of interest rates that conventional lenders charged based on credit and other underwriting criteria. New Century Rate Sheet 27 Credit Score Number of Late Mortgage or Rent Payments in Last 12 Months Interest Rate on a 30 year Mortgage 700 or above 0 6.3% % New Century s rate sheets, like those of other subprime lenders, listed numerous risk factors, in addition to credit scores and late housing payments that increased or decreased the borrower s interest rate, including: Loan to Value: e.g., New Century charged a borrower with a 95% Loan-to-Value (LTV) 50 basis points (0.5%) higher than a borrower with a 90% LTV. Loan Amount: e.g., New Century charged 100 basis points (1.00%) more than the base rate for a loan less than $75,000 and 25 basis points (0.25%) less than the base rate for a loan above $300,000. Income Documentation: e.g., New Century charged borrowers 100 basis points (1.00%) more on their rate if it was a stated income loan without pay stubs or tax returns FHA MORTGAGES FHA loans do not have differences in the interest rates based on risk factors, and therefore the rate disparities discussed in this report cannot be due to underwriting criteria. Unlike with conventional loans, the LTV and the size of the loan don t affect the interest rate a borrower gets. FHA did not allow reduced documentation loans, and a borrower s credit was either good enough for an FHA loan or it wasn t. There is no mechanism in FHA loans to charge borrowers higher interest rates to compensate for the risk. If a borrower with a 27 New Century Mortgage Rate Sheet, March 30, 2007, for Southern California 21

22 700 credit score and a borrower with a 500 credit score go for an FHA loan to the same lender on the same day, they should get the same interest rate. In 2008, for the first time, and for just a brief three month period, HUD utilized risk-based pricing for its mortgage insurance. As HUD stated just prior to the system s introduction: While the conventional market regularly uses risk-based premiums to price insurance risk, FHA, to date, continues to charge a one-size-fits-all premium to mortgagees 28. From January 1, 2001 until July 14, 2008, all FHA loans had a 1.5% upfront mortgage insurance premium (UMIP), and all 30 year FHA loans had a.50% annual mortgage insurance premium 29. Example: A $200,000 FHA loan had: A UMIP of $3,000 (1.5% of the loan amount) added onto the loan An annual premium of $1,000 (.50% of the loan amount) that would be paid in monthly installments along with the mortgage. Beginning July14, 2008, the UMIP amount was lowered to 1.25% for homebuyers who represented the least risk (those with a credit score of at least 680 or a down payment of at least 10%), it was raised to 2.25% for all others 30. Example: A $200,000 FHA loan had a UMIP of either: $2,500 (1.25% of the loan amount for low risk borrowers); or $4,500 (2.25% of the loan amount for all other borrowers) HUD also changed how it calculated the annual premium at that time. For FHA loans with a 30-year term and a Loan-to-Value (LTV) above 95% there would be a higher annual premium than before 0.55%. If the loan had an LTV less than or equal to 95%, the annual premium would be the same as before 0.50% 31. Example: A $200,000 FHA loan had an annual premium that would be paid in monthly installments along with the mortgage, of either: 28 Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 93, May 13, 2008, p U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD Mortgagee Letter , October 27, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD Mortgagee Letter , June 11, Ibid 22

23 $1,000 (.50% of the loan); or $1,100 (.55% of the loan) FHA s foray into risk-based premiums was short-lived. It lasted just two and a half months. Starting October 1, 2008, all 30-year FHA loans had a UMIP of 1.75% regardless of the borrower s credit score or down payment amount 32. Example: A $200,000 FHA loan had a UMIP of $3,500 (1.75% of the loan) that would be added onto the loan As noted above, the rate disparities shown in this report cannot be explained by differences in credit or other underwriting criteria since FHA loans do not use risk-based pricing in setting the interest rates and, except for a two and a half month period in 2008, do not use risk-based pricing in setting the insurance premiums. Even during the period from July 14, 2008 until October 1, 2008, the price differential due to the risk assessment system was minimal. For example, on a $200,000 loan at a 6% interest rate (the average rate for an FHA mortgage in August 2008), the low risk borrower would pay $54 less a month and have an APR just 30 basis points (.30%) lower. Low Risk Borrower High Risk Borrower UMIP Annual Premium Interest Rate Monthly Payment APR $2,500 $1,000 6% $1, % $4,500 $1,500 6% $1, % This small difference, not even in effect for a full quarter of 2008, cannot explain the rate disparities in FHA loans. 32 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD Mortgagee Letter , September 4,

24 New FHA Changes According to HUD, even with the increased volume in FHA lending over the last few years, the overall creditworthiness of FHA borrowers has also increased. The average FICO score for an FHA borrower is now 693 sixty points higher than it was just two years ago 33. Nonetheless, the FHA program has been feeling the strain from the current economic problems and HUD recently announced several changes to the program 34. Beginning April 5, 2010: Homebuyers with credit scores of less than 580 need to make a down payment of at least 10%. Buyers with scores above 580 still only need to make the traditional down payment of 3.5%. The UMIP was increased from 1.75% to 2.25%. The amount that the seller was allowed to contribute for closing costs was reduced from 6% to 3%. Mortgage lenders have to assume liability for all loans they originated and underwrote. Homebuyers with credit scores less than 500 cannot receive an FHA loan unless they have at least a 10% down payment. 33 Ibid 34 Ibid 24

25 Conclusion and Recommendations The FHA views its role today as similar to how it helped the nation out of the Great Depression. I would hate to think of where the housing market and the economy would be without FHA. There would have been hundreds of thousands more foreclosures without our efforts. And because we provided liquidity at a time when it was desperately needed, we may have saved hundreds of thousands more homeowners and the many industries involved in the housing market, especially homebuilders and those who service new homes with furniture and appliances 35. The increasing importance of FHA lending to the American economy makes it especially urgent that the unexplained disparities in the rates charged to different borrowers be examined and that unfair practices be corrected. Banks should investigate the pricing disparities at their institution presented in this report and should implement measures to ensure that homebuyers do not receive higher rates because of where they live or the color of their skin. Legislators and regulators should adopt the recommendations of the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, including reviving the President s Fair Housing Council to provide strong federal leadership that coordinates fair housing policy across agencies. Congress should: Strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) by passing the CRA Modernization Act of 2009, H.R. 1479, which would require CRA exams to consider lending to minorities in addition to low and moderate income neighborhoods. The bill would also enhance the CRA rating system and require banks that receive low ratings to develop public improvement plans. Expand the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund s Financial Education and Counseling pilot program to provide more one-on-one financial counseling. 35 David H. Stevens, Assistant Secretary for Housing and FHA Commissioner, speech at the Standard and Poor s Housing Conference, Feb. 11,

26 Increase funding for HUD s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), allowing the program to expand activities to combat housing discrimination through education, outreach, and enforcement. Such efforts are desperately needed to respond to the tremendous extra costs current lending patterns impose on communities of color. The Federal Reserve should amend the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) to require lenders to disclose more pricing and underwriting data, such as credit scores, loan-to-value ratios, and downpayment amounts. HUD should: Re-institute a discount in the FHA mortgage insurance premium for borrowers who complete a homeownership counseling program from a HUD-approved organization. HUD should also pay counseling organizations directly for providing this service. Implement a strict policy that FHA-approved lenders must offer borrowers the most advantageous loan they qualify for. Better enforce fair housing laws by examining aggregate lending data more closely when considering individual fair housing complaints and by not wasting time and effort determining whether a complainant has standing to bring an administrative complaint. HUD and the Justice Department should: Collect and analyze the data necessary to determine if the pricing disparities presented in this report are due to borrowers race and ethnicity or the neighborhood where they live. Conduct paired testing in which similarly situated white and non-white applicants approach selected lenders about FHA loans. Revoke the privilege of originating FHA-backed loans for any lenders found in violation of the Fair Housing Act. 26

27 Appendix A 2010 Report Appendices Number of FHA Originations in 2007 Number of FHA Originations in 2008 Increase from Metropolitan Statistical Area UNITED STATES 255, , % Atlanta, GA 9,711 21, % Baltimore, MD 2,359 7, % Boston, MA 328 2, % Chicago, IL 3,255 12, % Cincinnati, OH 2,631 6, % Cleveland, OH 1,932 6, % Dallas, TX 8,764 15,498 77% Denver, CO 3,794 13, % Houston, TX 8,172 19, % Detroit, MI 1,356 4, % Kansas City, MO 2,567 7, % Las Vegas, NV 1,166 12, % Los Angeles, CA ,039 3,500% Miami, FL 748 2, % Minneapolis, MN 2,072 11, % New York, NY 891 4, % Orlando, FL 1,259 6, % Philadelphia, PA 2,968 8, % Phoenix, AZ 4,029 22, % Pittsburgh, PA 2,698 5,279 96% Portland, OR 824 4, % Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 1,260 19,690 1,463% Sacramento, CA 459 8,013 1,646% San Antonio, TX 4,344 7,076 63% San Diego, CA 171 4,777 2,694% San Francisco, CA ,000% Seattle, WA 621 4, % St. Louis, MO 2,812 8, % Tampa, FL 1,744 6, % Washington, DC 1,564 17,212 1,001% 27

28 Appendix B Percentage of FHA Loans that were High-Cost Metropolitan Statistical Area UNITED STATES 12% 4% Atlanta, GA 8% 4% Baltimore, MD 9% 5% Boston, MA 13% 2% Chicago, IL 15% 6% Cincinnati, OH 10% 3% Cleveland, OH 14% 8% Dallas, TX 16% 7% Denver, CO 7% 1% Detroit, MI 25% 16% Houston, TX 16% 5% Kansas City, MO 12% 4% Las Vegas, NV 10% 1% Los Angeles, CA 17% 3% Miami, FL 17% 6% Minneapolis, MN 5% 1% New York, NY 21% 18% Orlando, FL 9% 2% Philadelphia, PA 14% 5% Phoenix, AZ 9% 1% Pittsburgh, PA 14% 3% Portland, OR 3% 1% Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 15% 2% Sacramento, CA 9% 1% San Antonio, TX 12% 5% San Diego, CA 10% 0% San Francisco, CA 17% 0% Seattle, WA 6% 1% St. Louis MO 15% 5% Tampa, FL 9% 2% Washington, DC 7% 3% 28

29 Appendix C Percentage of FHA Purchase Loans that were High Cost 2008 Metropolitan Statistical Area Upper Income Census Tracts Low Income Census Tracts Ratio of Low Income to Upper Income Census Tracts Low and Moderate Income Census Tracts Ratio of Low and Moderate Income to Upper Income Census Tracts UNITED STATES 8.7% 18.9% % 1.8 Atlanta, GA 5.7% 11.4% % 1.8 Baltimore, MD 6.0% 18.3% % 2.2 Boston, MA 11.8% 14.4% % 1.3 Chicago, IL 11.1% 24.4% % 2.3 Cincinnati, OH 7.0% 19.4% % 1.9 Cleveland, OH 10.2% 27.2% % 2.1 Dallas, TX 11.2% 24.2% % 2.4 Denver, CO 3.8% 7.8% % 2.9 Detroit, MI 18.9% 34.0% % 2.0 Houston, TX 12.6% 26.7% % 1.9 Kansas City, MO 5.9% 29.6% % 3.5 Las Vegas, NV 7.7% 0.0% % 2.4 Los Angeles, CA 14.3% 21.9% % 1.5 Miami, FL 13.8% 20.4% % 1.6 Minneapolis, MN 3.4% 14.6% % 2.2 New York, NY 17.0% 27.0% % 1.5 Orlando, FL 7.5% 40.0% % 1.5 Philadelphia, PA 7.2% 26.6% % 2.9 Phoenix, AZ 5.2% 11.6% % 2.4 Pittsburgh, PA 9.0% 19.4% % 2.1 Portland, OR 3.6% 7.5% % 1.2 Riverside-San 12.0% 17.4% % 1.7 Bernardino, CA Sacramento, CA 6.0% 17.0% % 2.6 San Antonio, TX 6.8% 15.6% % 3.7 San Diego, CA 10.1% 9.2% % 1.1 San Francisco, CA 14.5% 30.1% % 1.6 Seattle, WA 5.6% 4.4% % 1.0 St. Louis, MO 8.5% 32.0% % 2.5 Tampa, FL 7.0% 18.0% % 1.8 Washington, DC 5.7% 10.4% %

30 Appendix D Percentage of FHA Purchase Loans that were High Cost 2008 White Minority Neighborhoods Neighborhoods Ratio of Minority to White Neighborhoods Metropolitan Statistical Area UNITED STATES 10.4% 16.0% 1.5 Atlanta, GA 6.0% 11.3% 1.9 Baltimore, MD 6.8% 14.2% 2.1 Boston, MA 10.2% 20.0% 1.9 Chicago, IL 11.2% 23.0% 2.1 Cincinnati, OH 9.5% 16.1% 1.7 Cleveland, OH 12.0% 19.8% 1.6 Dallas, TX 10.8% 25.7% 2.4 Denver, CO 4.2% 12.1% 2.9 Detroit, MI 22.7% 40.7% 1.8 Houston, TX 11.1% 19.9% 1.8 Kansas City, MO 10.8% 22.2% 2.1 Las Vegas, NV 6.6% 20.5% 3.1 Los Angeles, CA 9.9% 19.0% 1.9 Miami, FL N/A 17.2% N/A Minneapolis, MN 4.2% 15.0% 3.6 New York, NY 16.7% 23.5% 1.4 Orlando, FL 7.6% 12.5% 1.7 Philadelphia, PA 9.2% 23.4% 2.5 Phoenix, AZ 6.4% 12.7% 2.0 Pittsburgh, PA 13.5% 19.1% 1.4 Portland, OR 3.5% 4.7% 1.3 Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 12.6% 18.4% 1.5 Sacramento, CA 6.6% 13.5% 2.0 San Antonio, TX 8.8% 17.4% 2.0 San Diego, CA 9.9% 11.0% 1.1 San Francisco, CA 22.0% 20.4% 0.9 Seattle, WA 5.0% 7.6% 1.5 St. Louis, MO 12.6% 23.9% 1.9 Tampa, FL 10.2% 8.2% 0.8 Washington, DC 4.9% 9.6%

31 Appendix E Percentage of FHA Purchase Loans That Were High-Cost in 2008 African- Metropolitan Statistical Area White African- American American to White Ratio Latino Latino to White Ratio UNITED STATES 10.3% 15.5% % 1.5 Atlanta, GA 6.0% 10.3% % 2.0 Baltimore, MD 6.3% 12.9% % 2.0 Boston, MA 11.8% 17.6% % 1.0 Chicago, IL 11.8% 24.6% % 1.6 Cincinnati, OH 9.6% 16.5% % 0.8 Cleveland, OH 12.2% 16.1% % 1.8 Dallas, TX 12.0% 24.5% % 1.8 Denver, CO 5.7% 8.3% % 2.4 Detroit, MI 23.1% 33.1% % 1.1 Houston, TX 14.4% 19.4% % 1.3 Kansas City, MO 11.4% 18.8% % 1.0 Las Vegas, NV 7.3% 8.1% % 2.2 Los Angeles, CA 14.1% 18.5% % 1.4 Miami, FL 16.3% 21.4% % 1.0 Minneapolis, MN 4.2% 10.9% % 1.7 New York, NY 16.0% 26.3% % 1.4 Orlando, FL 7.7% 13.6% % 1.5 Philadelphia, PA 8.7% 20.9% % 2.5 Phoenix, AZ 7.5% 8.6% % 1.9 Pittsburgh, PA 12.7% 18.5% % 1.5 Portland, OR 3.5% 1.2% % 0.7 Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 11.5% 30.1% % 1.7 Sacramento, CA 7.5% 12.8% % 1.7 San Antonio, TX 7.7% 14.5% % 2.2 San Diego, CA 9.4% 10.6% % 1.3 San Francisco, CA 17.5% 45.5% % 1.3 Seattle, WA 5.3% 7.4% % 1.6 St. Louis, MO 12.7% 23.9% % 1.6 Tampa, FL 9.5% 9.2% % 1.0 Washington, DC 4.8% 9.3% %

32 Appendix F Disparity between Percentage of High Cost Loans in Low and Moderate Income Neighborhoods Compared to Upper Income Neighborhoods Wells Fargo Bank of Chase CitiMortgage Metropolitan Statistical Area America Atlanta, GA * * Baltimore, MD N/A * Boston, MA N/A + Chicago, IL Cincinnati, OH 3.0 N/A 1.5 * Cleveland, OH 4.4 N/A Dallas, TX Denver, CO 5.3 N/A Detroit, MI Houston, TX Kansas City, MO N/A * Las Vegas, NV * Los Angeles, CA Miami, FL Minneapolis, MN 4.4 N/A N/A + New York, NY Orlando, FL Philadelphia, PA 3.7 * N/A * Pittsburgh, PA 3.2 N/A N/A + Phoenix, AZ Portland, OR 2.3 * 1.5 # Riverside-San Bernardino, CA Sacramento, CA San Antonio, TX * San Diego, CA # San Francisco, CA * 2.4 * * Seattle, WA 2.0 * * + St. Louis, MO N/A 2.3 Tampa, FL * * Washington, DC N/A * N/A - Bank did not report making any FHA purchase loans in that metropolitan area * Bank did not make any High-Cost FHA purchase loans in upper income neighborhoods # Bank did not make any FHA purchase loans in low or moderate income neighborhoods + Bank did not make any High-Cost FHA purchase loans in upper income neighborhoods or any FHA purchase loans in low and moderate income neighborhoods 32

33 Appendix G Disparity between Percentage of High Cost Purchase Loans in Minority Neighborhoods Compared to White Neighborhoods in 2008 Wells Bank of Chase CitiMortgage Metropolitan Statistical Area Fargo America Atlanta, GA * * Baltimore, MD N/A * Boston, MA N/A * Chicago, IL Cincinnati, OH 1.4 N/A Cleveland, OH 2.6 N/A Dallas, TX * Denver, CO 5.8 N/A Detroit, MI Houston, TX Kansas City, MO N/A 0.0 Las Vegas, NV * Los Angeles, CA 1.1 * 0.9 * Miami, FL * # * * Minneapolis, MN 6.2 N/A N/A 0.0 New York, NY 1.1 * Orlando, FL * Philadelphia, PA 3.5 * N/A 3.0 Phoenix, AZ * Pittsburgh, PA 3.0 N/A N/A + Portland, OR 0.0 # # # Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 2.3 * * * Sacramento, CA San Antonio, TX 3.3 # 0.5 * San Diego, CA San Francisco, CA * 0.7 * * Seattle, WA 1.6 * St. Louis, MO N/A # Tampa, FL Washington, DC N/A 1.7 N/A - Bank did not report making any FHA purchase loans in that metropolitan area * Bank did not make any High-Cost FHA purchase loans in white neighborhoods # Bank did not make any FHA purchase loans made in minority neighborhoods + Bank did not make any High-Cost FHA purchase loans in white neighborhoods or any FHA purchase loans in minority neighborhoods 33

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