In my last blog I looked for a trend for 2015 early HMDA responders for one of the biggest cohorts in the mortgage industry—FHA lenders. But LendingPatterns™ also yields lots of data for much smaller niches.

For instance I’ve been following mortgage lending to Native Americans for years, as part of my Community Reinvestment Act coverage and also because I’m interested in the growth of this market and obstacles that remain.

Not every mortgage lender has reported HMDA data for 2015 yet, so overall year-to-year volumes cannot be compared. But there is plenty of other interesting data on hand already.

As of August 11, for instance, 44 percent of the 19,000 Native American applications reported by the Early Look responders had been approved, with 31 percent denied, six percent purchased, 11 percent withdrawn, and six percent incomplete.

These numbers are roughly comparable to full year 2014 apps, where 46 percent of apps were approved, and five percent purchased.

Looking at originations only, more than half of the 8,388 originated mortgages counted to date were conventional. Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs showed strong volumes as well, with about 45 percent combined.

Sorting for originations only allows accurate secondary market numbers. Some eighty percent of American Indian mortgages (by number) are sold into the secondary market, with only 20 percent not sold and kept in portfolio. Ginnie Mae is the biggest investor, at 34 percent. Ginnie Mae buys FHA and VA mortgages, as well as the American Indian mortgage at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the HUD 184.

Fannie Mae is the second largest investor in this niche, at 20 percent. Non-agency investors came in at 16 percent, with Freddie Mac trailing at 12 percent.

Dollar volume through Aug. 11 was $1.7 billion, with secondary market sales at very similar results as when sorted by number of loans. First liens (more than 99 percent of volume) averaged $209,000, while seconds came in at $34,000 apiece.

Loan purpose was split very evenly, with 50 percent of the funds going for purchase mortgages and 48 percent for refinancings.

Upper income borrowers took 55 percent of the funding dollars, while low income borrowers saw just five percent of the money.

Just two percent of mortgage dollars reported so far went towards manufactured homes, with almost all of the rest loaned for one-to-four family homes.

An interesting stat is HOEPA volume. HOEPA mortgages have been practically non-existent in the mortgage market in recent years, but in American Indian lending, they are totally non-existent. No HOEPA mortgages at all to date!

Looking at individual lenders, Quicken Loans has displaced Wells Fargo Bank as the top lender to Native Americans, unless a firm that hasn’t reported yet comes in higher than the Michigan-based lender’s $283 million in lending. San Francisco-based Wells slipped to second with $276 million. Mid America Mortgage, Addison, TX, took the bronze, with $152 million.

For 2014, Wells was the leader in Native American mortgages. Quicken was second and Mid America third.


 (Mark Fogarty is a journalist and analyst who has been covering the mortgage industry for more than 30 years.)