A recent piece in the New York Times describing how the A.C.L.U. is filing a case against a lender for predatory lending practices aimed at selling expensive and risky loans to African-American borrowers brings to the forefront the value of data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). At PolicyMap, we make this data available on an annual basis so our users can visually see concentrations of lending activity, or make comparative or time-series charts, for any part of the nation.
If we take a look at Detroit, for example, and layer on the percent of all home loans made to African Americans that were high cost in 2006, we can see that neighborhood after neighborhood in Detroit shows dense swaths of these types of loans:
And if we take a look at Detroit as a whole, we can see that those high-cost loans rose from 50.24% in 2004 and peaked in 2006 at 72.03%. (It has since declined significantly as FHA loans replaced the subprime market in these neighborhoods.)
That said, if we look at Detroit’s population (as shown in the map below), we can see that the city has a high concentration of African Americans, but compared to the map of lending shown above, we can see that even the suburbs around Detroit that aren’t predominantly African American had high levels of loans to African Americans that were high cost.
And speaking of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, we’re hard at work preparing the recently released 2011 data. We’ll be sure to keep you updated once it’s available.