Federal Housing Finance Agency Print
Home / Policy, Programs & Research / Programs / National Mortgage Database

National Mortgage Database Logo

National Mortgage Database (NMDB®)


The National Mortgage Database project is a multi-year project being jointly undertaken by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The project is designed to provide a rich source of information about the U.S. mortgage market based on a five percent sample of residential mortgages. It has three primary components: (1) the National Mortgage Database (NMDB®), (2) the quarterly National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO) [1] and (3) the American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers (ASMB).

The NMDB® will enable FHFA to meet the statutory requirements of section 1324(c) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, to conduct a monthly mortgage market survey. Specifically, FHFA must, through a survey of the mortgage market, collect data on the characteristics of individual mortgages, including those eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and those that are not, and including subprime and nontraditional mortgages. In addition, FHFA must collect information on the creditworthiness of borrowers, including a determination of whether subprime and nontraditional borrowers would have qualified for prime lending. [2]

For CFPB, the NMDB® project will support policymaking and research efforts and help identify and understand emerging mortgage and housing market trends. The CFPB expects to use the NMDB®, among other purposes, in support of the market monitoring called for by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, including understanding how mortgage debt affects consumers and for retrospective rule review required by the statute.

National Mortgage Database Technical Report 1.2 (updated 10/30/2017) is designed to provide users of the NMDB® data with background on the development of the database, as well as an assessment of the quality of its data.

National Mortgage Database Technical Report 2.3 (updated 4/18/2018) provides background details on how the NSMO was developed. 

NMDB Staff Working Paper 18-01: Mortgage Experiences of Rural Borrowers in the United States: Insights from the National Survey of Mortgage Originations (3/14/2018) Using data from the National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO), this paper contrasts the characteristics, experiences, and loan terms of mortgage borrowers in completely rural counties to those borrowers in metropolitan and other non-metropolitan areas.

NMDB Staff Working Paper 18-02: First-Time Homebuyer Counseling and the Mortgage Selection Experience in the United States: Evidence from the National Survey of Mortgage Originations (3/14/2018) Using data from the National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO), this paper contributes to the literature on homebuyer education and counseling (HEC) by providing evidence on the benefits of HEC to mortgage borrowers in aspects other than mortgage performance, and evaluating HEC in general, not just one specific program.

We Are Protecting Your Information

Information in the database will not identify any individual and we have put safeguards in place to ensure that information in the database is handled in accordance with federal privacy laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Informing and Educating Federal Agencies about Lending Products and Mortgage Market Health

The database will be comprehensive, and there are many possibilities for how it may be used. Some examples include: 

  • Subprime mortgage crisis.

    Because the data goes back to 1998, the database can be used to assess the causes of the recent subprime crisis.

  • Monitor new and emerging products in the mortgage market.

    The database will allow the agencies to monitor volume and performance of products in the mortgage market and help regulators to identify potential problems or new risks.

  • Monitor the relative health of mortgage markets and consumers.

    The database will provide detailed mortgage loan performance information including whether payments are made on-time, as well as information regarding loan modifications, foreclosures, and bankruptcies. This will help policy makers better understand how various products are being used and how they are performing.

  • Loss mitigation, borrower counseling, and loan modification programs.

    The database can be used to evaluate the efficacy and potential impact of counseling programs.

  • Suitability and sustainability.

    The database will include a voluntary survey component that measures variables such as borrowers’ expectations, knowledge, and financial circumstances. These data can be used to analyze the suitability of borrowers’ mortgage choices and identify predatory lending. Read more about the National Survey of Mortgage Originations.

  • Affordable lending.

    The database will provide information on mortgage access and mortgage terms for low-income borrowers and communities faster than data required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, or HMDA. Currently, HMDA data become available in September of the year following the originations.

  • Stress tests, prepayment, and default modeling.

    The database can be used by policy makers, researchers, and regulators to improve prepayment and default modeling. For example, survey information on “trigger events” coupled with house-price estimates can be used to examine the role of these factors in mortgage default. Data may also be used to implement stress-test scenarios for the entire national mortgage market.

The database will include information about:

  • loan performance from origination to termination;

  • loan terms;

  • property value and characteristics;

  • membership in federal loan programs;

  • sale in the secondary mortgage market; and

  • information on all loan cosigners, including second liens, other past and present mortgages, and credit scores from one year before origination to one year after termination.


Related Documents

NMDB® Technical Report 6.0 (4/18/2018)

NMDB® Technical Report 5.0 (11/17/2017)

NMDB® Technical Report 4.0 (3/21/2017)

NMDB® Technical Report 3.1 (updated 3/21/2017)

NMDB® Technical Report 2.3 (updated 4/18/2018)

NMDB® Technical Report 1.2 (updated 10/30/2017)

NMDB® Notice of Revisions to Existing System of Records (8/28/2015)

NMDB® Update (8/1/2014)

NMDB® Notice of Revisions to Existing System of Records (4/16/2014)

NMDB® Privacy Impact Assessment (11/6/2013)

NMDB® Notice of Proposed Establishment of New System of Records (12/10/2012)

NMDB® News Release (11/1/2012)

NMDB® Privacy Impact Assessment (9/17/2012)

[1]  The National Survey of Mortgage Originations was originally called the National Survey of Mortgage Borrowers.  The name of the survey was changed to avoid confusion with the American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, effective May 9, 2016.

[2]  FHFA interprets the NMDB® project as a whole, including the NSMO, as the “survey” required by the Safety and Soundness Act.  The statutory requirement is for a monthly survey.  Core inputs to the NMDB®, such as a regular refresh of credit-bureau data, occur monthly, though the NSMO does not.

© 2018 Federal Housing Finance Agency