Every year, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) releases the latest Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. HMDA requires banks and other lenders to record the race and other characteristics of loan applicants. This information can then be analyzed to find disparities and differences across borrowers, lenders and geographic regions. In 2007, both the number of applications and reported loans fell significantly. The number of conventional home purchase originations dropped 49% for blacks, 42% for whites and 53% for Latinos.
For most of us, the first step in financial planning is opening a bank account. A bank account is a useful tool for paying bills, cashing checks and, perhaps most importantly, saving for emergencies and to achieve financial goals. An estimated 20 million households do not have a bank account (often referred to as unbanked), and another 20 million are underbanked (they may have a bank account but also use non-banks such as check cashing agencies, payday lenders or pawn shops for financial transactions). 60% of these households are white, 19% Latinos and 16% black.