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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Housing Finance Agency.

ACTION:

30-Day notice of submission of information collection for approval from the Office of Management and Budget.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking public comments concerning a currently approved information collection “Monthly Survey of Rates and Terms on Conventional 1-Family Non-Farm Mortgage Loans,” known as the Monthly Interest Rate Survey or MIRS. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) assigned MIRS control number 2590-0004, which is due to expire on September 30, 2010. FHFA will submit the information collection to OMB for review and approval for a three-year extension of the control number.

DATES:

Interested persons may submit comments on or before September 27, 2010.

COMMENTS:

Submit comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Washington, DC 20503, Fax: 202-395-6974, E-mail: OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov. Please also submit the comments to FHFA using any one of the following methods:

  • E-mail: regcomments@fhfa.gov. Please include “Proposed Collection; Comment Request: Monthly Interest Rate Survey (No. 2010-N-12)” in the subject line of the message.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. If you submit your comment to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, please also send it by e-mail to FHFA at RegComments@fhfa.gov to ensure timely receipt by the agency. Please include “Proposed Collection; Comment Request: Monthly Interest Rate Survey (No. 2010-N-12)” in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail/Hand Delivery: Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fourth Floor, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552, ATTENTION: Public Comments Proposed Collection; Comment Request: “Monthly Interest Rate Survey,” (No. 2010-N-12).

FHFA will post all public comments it receives without change, including Start Printed Page 52748any personal information you provide, such as your name and address, on FHFA's Web site at http://www.fhfa.gov. In addition, copies of all comments received will be available for examination by the public on business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fourth Floor, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552. To make an appointment to inspect comments, please call the Office of General Counsel at 202-414-6924.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David L. Roderer, Senior Financial Analyst, 202-408-2540 (not a toll-free number), david.l.roderer@fhfa.gov. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf is 800-877-8339.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Need For and Use of the Information Collection

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), Public Law 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654, amended the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (Safety and Soundness Act) (12 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.) and the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1421 et seq.) to establish FHFA as an independent agency of the Federal government.[1] One of FHFA's predecessor agencies, the former Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board), provided data concerning a survey of mortgage interest rates until HERA transferred those responsibilities to FHFA. This survey, known as the Monthly Interest Rate Survey or MIRS, is described in 12 CFR 906.5.

The information collection is used by FHFA to produce the MIRS and for general statistical purposes and program evaluation. The MIRS provides monthly information on interest rates, loan terms, and house prices by property type (all, new, previously occupied), by loan type (fixed- or adjustable-rate), and by lender type (savings associations, mortgage companies, commercial banks, and savings banks), as well as information on 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate loans. In addition, the MIRS provides quarterly information on conventional loans by major metropolitan area and by FHLBank district.

To conduct the MIRS, FHFA asks a sample of mortgage lenders to report voluntarily the terms and conditions on all single-family, fully amortized, purchase-money, non-farm loans that they close during the last five business days of the month. The MIRS excludes FHA-insured and VA-guaranteed loans, multifamily loans, mobile home loans, and loans created by refinancing another mortgage.

Information concerning the MIRS is published regularly on FHFA's Web site, http://www.fhfa.gov, in FHFA press releases, in the popular and trade press, including a monthly 1-page ARM index release, a monthly 8- or 12-page release with mortgage rate and term data, an annual summary all available via FHFA's Web site, and in publications of other Federal agencies, including The Economic Report of the President and Statistical Abstract of the United States. FHFA publishes on its Web site the phone number for an automated telephone answering system that provides callers a recorded message about the ARM index and other MIRS information.

Economic policy makers use the MIRS data to determine trends in the mortgage markets, including interest rates, down payments, terms to maturity, terms on ARMs, and initial fees and charges on mortgage loans. Other federal banking agencies, such as the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Council of Economic Advisors, use the MIRS results for research purposes.

FHFA considers MIRS, among other indexes or measures FHFA determines are appropriate, in establishing and maintaining a method to assess the national average one-family house price for use for adjusting the conforming loan limitations of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. 12 U.S.C. 4542. Other statutory references of the MIRS include the following:

  • In 1989, Congress required the Chairperson of the Finance Board to take necessary actions to ensure that indices used to calculate the interest rate on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) remain available. See FIRREA, tit. IV, section 402, paragraphs (e)(3)-(4), 103 Stat. 183, codified at 12 U.S.C. 1437 note. At least one ARM index, known as the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders, is derived from the MIRS data. The statute permits FHFA to substitute a different ARM index after notice and comment only if the new ARM index is based upon data substantially similar to that of the original ARM index and substitution of the new ARM index will result in an interest rate substantially similar to the rate in effect at the time the new ARM index replaces the existing ARM index. See 12 U.S.C. 1437 note.
  • Statutes in several states and U.S. territories, including California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and the Virgin Islands, refer to, or rely upon, the MIRS. See, e.g., Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1916.7 and 1916.8 (mortgage rates); Mich. Comp. Laws § 445.1621(d) (mortgage index rates); Minn. Stat. § 92.06 (payments for state land sales); N.J. Rev. Stat. 31:1-1 (interest rates); Wis. Stat. § 138.056 (variable loan rates); V.I. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 951 (legal rate of interest).

The respondents include a sample of major mortgage lenders, such as savings institutions, commercial banks, and mortgage loan companies. Most of the respondents submit the requested information electronically using the MIRS software in a format similar to FHFA Form #075 (supersedes FHFB Form 10-91). Some respondents elect to complete FHFA Form #075 and submit it by facsimile. Respondents are requested to submit the information on a monthly basis.

The OMB number for the information collection is 2590-0004. The OMB clearance for the information collection expires on September 30, 2010.

B. Burden Estimate

FHFA estimates the total annual number of respondents at 76 with 8 responses per respondent. The estimate for the average hours per response is 20 minutes. The estimate for the total annual hour burden is 200 hours (76 respondents × 8 responses × 0.33 hours).

C. Comment Request

In accordance with the requirements of 5 CFR 1320.8(d), FHFA published a request for public comments regarding this information collection in the Federal Register on January 10, 2001. See 75 FR 26756 (May 12, 2010). The 60-day comment period closed on July 12, 2010. FHFA received comments from three organizations, which are posted on its Web site at http://www.fhfa.gov/​Default.aspx?​Page=​89&​ListNumber=​5&​ListID=​14707&​ListYear=​2010&​SortBy=​#14707. All three commenters support continuation of the MIRS. One of the three commenters suggested enhancing the utility of the MIRS by including mortgages that are backed by FHA or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Another commenter suggested a new sampling frame using HMDA data to enhance the utility of the MIRS data. FHFA has determined not to make any changes to the MIRS at this time but will consider the recommendations when the MIRS is reviewed for enhancement as part of a Start Printed Page 52749comprehensive review of data collection.

FHFA requests written comments on the following: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FHFA functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FHFA estimates of the burdens of the collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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Dated: August 19, 2010.

Edward J. DeMarco,

Acting Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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Footnotes

1.  See Division A, titled the “Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act of 2008,” tit. I, section 1101 of HERA.

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[FR Doc. 2010-21422 Filed 8-26-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8070-01-P