|Federal Reserve's Dynamic Maps Illustrate Mortgage Data
The Federal Reserve has introduced online, interactive maps of the United States that allow users a clearer view of where mortgage problems are. The maps permit users to access data about nonprime mortgages down to a level as specific as a county.
Maps focus on subprime and alt-A mortgages
The maps, which are housed on the New York Fed's Web site and will be updated monthly, allow examination of subprime and alt-A mortgages, which are the two types of mortgage loans currently experiencing the most distress. Subprime mortgages generally carry high interest rates, and although alt-A mortgages—which include low- and no-documentation loans—can be less risky than subprime mortgages, they have come under scrutiny during the mortgage market's turbulence.
The information available through the maps includes the number of loans in foreclosure per 1,000 housing units, the share of loans in foreclosure and more than 90 days delinquent, the share of loans with mortgage interest rates that will adjust upward in the next 12 months, and the share of loans with a late payment in the past 12 months.
Data may help community groups, policymakers
The Federal Reserve intends for the maps to help identify existing or potential foreclosure hotspots. Such identification may assist community groups to determine how best to allocate resources to help at-risk homeowners. According to the New York Fed, policymakers can use the data to develop plans to help mitigate direct and indirect effects that delinquencies and foreclosures may have on local economies.
May 15, 2008