Proposed Collection; Comment Request, 46104-46119 [2020-16659]

Download as PDF 46104 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices implementing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 3 and Executive Order 11246 (E.O. 11246),4 this information collection does not impose additional recordkeeping burdens on such contractors and subcontractors. FAR 52.222–26, Equal Opportunity, requires that such contractors’ contracts and subcontracts include a clause implementing E.O. 11246. OFCCP regulations require each contractor with 50 or more employees and a Federal contract or subcontract of $50,000 or more to maintain records on the race, ethnicity, gender, and EEO–1 job category of each employee.5 OFCCP regulations also require each such contractor to: (1) Demonstrate that it has made a good faith effort to remove identified barriers, expand employment opportunities, and produce measurable results; 6 and (2) develop and maintain a written program summary describing the policies, practices, and procedures that the contractor uses to ensure that applicants and employees received equal opportunities for employment and advancement.7 In lieu of creating and maintaining a separate workforce inclusion plan to submit in satisfaction of the MWI Clause, a contractor or subcontractor with 50 or more employees could submit the written program summary that it is already required to maintain under the OFCCP regulations to demonstrate its good faith efforts to ensure the fair inclusion of minorities and women in its workforce. With respect to reporting burden, FHFA estimates that it will take each contractor or subcontractor with 50 or more employees approximately one hour to retrieve, review, and submit the documentation specified in the MWI Clause. Thus, the estimate of the triennial burden upon contractors or subcontractors with 50 or more employees associated with reporting requirements under this information collection is 48 hours (48 respondents × 1 hour per respondent) and the annual burden is 16 hours. (2) Documentation Submitted by Contractors With Fewer Than 50 Employees FHFA estimates that the average annual burden on contractors and subcontractors with fewer than 50 employees will be 156 hours (150 recordkeeping hours + 6 reporting hours). 3 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq. 11246, 30 FR 12319 (Sept. 28, 1965). 5 See 41 CFR 60–1.7. 6 See 41 CFR 60–2.17. 7 See 41 CFR 60–2.31. 4 E.O. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 OFCCP regulations require contractors with fewer than 50 employees to maintain records on the race, ethnicity, and gender of each employee.8 FHFA believes that such contractors also keep EEO–1 job category information in the normal course of business, despite the fact that they are not required by law to do so. However, contractors or subcontractors with fewer than 50 employees may not have the type of written program summary that is required of larger contractors under the OFCCP regulations or any similar document that could be submitted as a workforce inclusion plan under the MWI Clause. Accordingly, such contractors or subcontractors may need to create a workforce inclusion plan to comply with the MWI Clause. In order to estimate the burden associated with creating a workforce inclusion plan, FHFA considered the OFCCP’s burden estimates for the time needed to develop the written program summaries required under its regulations.9 In its OMB Supporting Statement, the OFCCP estimated that a contractor with 50 to 100 employees would take approximately 73 hours to create an initial written program summary. While the OFCCP regulations require contractors to perform timeconsuming quantitative analyses when developing their written program summaries, such analyses would not be required in connection with the creation of a workforce inclusion plan. For this reason, FHFA believes that a contractor could develop a workforce inclusion plan in about one-third of the time that it would take to develop the written program summary required under the OFCCP regulations. FHFA estimates that a contractor or subcontractor with fewer than 50 employees would spend approximately 25 hours creating a workforce inclusion plan for the first time. It is likely that, going forward, many small contractors and subcontractors will simply submit updated versions of workforce inclusion plans that they have submitted previously. For purposes of this burden estimate, however, FHFA has assumed that all small contractors and subcontractors will need to create a new plan every time they are required to submit information under the MWI clause. This results in an estimated average triennial recordkeeping burden on all contractors and subcontractors with fewer than 50 employees over the 8 See 41 CFR 60–3.4. PRA Supporting Statement for the OFCCP Recordkeeping and Requirements-Supply and Service Program, OMB Control No. 1250–0003, at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/ PRAViewDocument?ref_nbr=201906-1250-001. 9 See PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 next three years of 450 hours (18 respondents × 25 hours per respondent), with an annual burden of 150 hours. As with larger entities, FHFA estimates that it will take each contractor and subcontractor with fewer than 50 employees approximately one hour to retrieve, review, and submit the documentation specified in the MWI Clause. Thus, FHFA estimates that the average triennial reporting burden on all contractors and subcontractors with fewer than 50 employees will be 18 hours (18 respondents × 1 hour per respondent), with an annual burden of 6 hours. D. Comment Request In accordance with the requirements of 5 CFR 1320.8(d), FHFA published an initial notice and request for public comments regarding this information collection in the Federal Register on May 27, 2020.10 The 60-day comment period closed on July 27, 2020. FHFA received no comments. 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’s 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 on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Robert Winkler, Chief Information Officer, Federal Housing Finance Agency. [FR Doc. 2020–16599 Filed 7–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070–01–P FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY [No. 2020–N–14] Proposed Collection; Comment Request Federal Housing Finance Agency. ACTION: National Survey of Mortgage Originations—30-day Notice of Submission of Information Collection for Approval for Emergency Clearance from Office of Management and Budget. AGENCY: In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the SUMMARY: 10 See E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 85 FR 31777 (May 27, 2020). 31JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking public comments concerning an information collection known as the ‘‘American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers (ASMB),’’ which has been assigned control number 2590– 0015 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). FHFA intends to submit the information collection to OMB for review and approval of an emergency six month renewal of the control number, which expired on July 31, 2019. DATES: Interested persons may submit comments on or before August 31, 2020. ADDRESSES: 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– 3047, Email: OIRA_submission@ omb.eop.gov. Please also submit comments to FHFA, identified by ‘‘Proposed Collection; Comment Request: ‘American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, (No. 2020–N–14)’ ’’ by any of the following methods: • Agency website: www.fhfa.gov/ open-for-comment-or-input. • 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 email to FHFA at RegComments@fhfa.gov to ensure timely receipt by the agency. • Mail/Hand Delivery: Federal Housing Finance Agency, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20219, ATTENTION: Proposed Collection; Comment Request: ‘‘American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, (No. 2020–N–14).’’ Please note that all mail sent to FHFA via U.S. Mail is routed through a national irradiation facility, a process that may delay delivery by approximately two weeks. For any time-sensitive correspondence, please plan accordingly. We will post all public comments we receive without change, including any personal information you provide, such as your name and address, email address, and telephone number, on the FHFA website at http://www.fhfa.gov. In addition, copies of all comments received will be available for examination by the public through the electronic comment docket for this PRA Notice also located on the FHFA website. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Saty Patrabansh, Manager, National Mortgage Database Program, Saty.Patrabansh@ fhfa.gov, (202) 649–3213; or Angela VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 Supervielle, Counsel, Angela.Supervielle@fhfa.gov, (202) 649– 3973, (these are not toll-free numbers), Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20219. The Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is (800) 877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background The ASMB is a component of the ‘‘National Mortgage Database’’ (NMDB®) Program, which is a joint effort of FHFA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (jointly, ‘‘the agencies’’). The NMDB Program is designed to satisfy the Congressionally-mandated requirements of section 1324(c) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act.1 Section 1324(c) requires that FHFA conduct a monthly survey to collect data on the characteristics of individual prime and subprime mortgages, and on the borrowers and properties associated with those mortgages, in order to enable it to prepare a detailed annual report on the mortgage market activities of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) for review by the appropriate Congressional oversight committees. Section 1324(c) also authorizes and requires FHFA to compile a database of otherwise unavailable residential mortgage market information and to make that information available to the public in a timely fashion. As a means of fulfilling those and other statutory requirements, as well as to support policymaking and research regarding the residential mortgage markets, FHFA and CFPB jointly established the NMDB Program in 2012. The Program is designed to provide comprehensive information about the U.S. mortgage market and has three primary components: (1) The NMDB; (2) the quarterly National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO); and (3) the ASMB. The NMDB is a de-identified loanlevel database of closed-end first-lien residential mortgage loans that is representative of the market as a whole, contains detailed loan-level information on the terms and performance of the mortgages and the characteristics of the associated borrowers and properties, is continually updated, has an historical component dating back to 1998, and provides a sampling frame for surveys to collect additional information. The core data in the NMDB are drawn from a random 1-in-20 sample of all closed-end PO 00000 1 12 U.S.C. 4544(c). Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46105 first-lien mortgages outstanding at any time between January 1998 and the present in the files of Experian, one of the three national credit repositories. A random 1-in-20 sample of mortgages newly-reported to Experian is added each quarter. The NMDB draws additional information on mortgages in the NMDB datasets from other existing sources, including Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data that are maintained by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), property valuation models, and administrative data files maintained by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and by federal agencies. FHFA also obtains data from the two surveys conducted as part of the project—the NSMO and the ASMB. The NSMO is a quarterly survey that provides critical and timely information on newly-originated mortgages and those borrowing that are not available from other sources, including: the range of nontraditional and subprime mortgage products being offered, the methods by which these mortgages are being marketed, and the characteristics of borrowers for these types of loans.2 While the NSMO provides information on newly-originated mortgages, the ASMB focuses on borrowers’ experience with maintaining their existing mortgages. This includes their experience maintaining mortgages under financial stress, their experience in soliciting financial assistance, their success in accessing federally sponsored programs designed to assist them, and, where applicable, any challenges they may have had in terminating a mortgage loan. In short, the ASMB is designed to collect information necessary to allow empirical analysis of two questions of vital importance to residential mortgage market policymakers and stakeholders: (1) What factors explain or predict which borrowers will become delinquent on their mortgages?; and (2) Once a borrower becomes delinquent, what factors explain or predict whether the borrower will (a) become current on the loan, (b) decide they cannot afford the mortgage and sell the property or modify the mortgage, or (c) remain delinquent and enter into foreclosure? From 2016 through 2018, the ASMB questionnaire was sent once annually to a stratified random sample of 10,000 borrowers with mortgages in the NMDB. In 2018, the ASMB had an 18.7 percent overall response rate, which yielded 1,793 survey responses. FHFA did not undertake the ASMB during 2019, but 2 OMB has cleared the NSMO under the PRA and assigned it control no. 2590–0012, which expires on June 30, 2023. E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 46106 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices intends to send out the survey again in the Fall of 2020.3 The 2018 and 2020 survey questionnaires are substantially similar, except in that a number of questions specifically relating to the COVID–19 pandemic and its effects have been added to the 2020 questionnaire. Eight new questions have been added regarding expanded mortgage payment forbearance options that may have been offered to borrowers. Two other new questions address the effect of the COVID–19 pandemic on borrowers’ homeownership and employment. Because of the elimination of several questions, as well as the combination of some other questions, the total number of questions has actually decreased from 93 on the 2018 survey questionnaire to 92 on the 2020 questionnaire. Each of the 92 questions on the 2020 survey questionnaire is designed to elicit one or more of five different categories of information that are not available in the administrative data and that are needed either to properly analyze the issues described above or to validate the survey responses. These categories are: (1) Information needed to validate that the survey reached the correct borrower and that the borrower is providing answers about the correct loan; (2) information about the mortgage loan that does not exist in sufficient detail in the administrative data; (3) information about the borrower’s economic circumstances that does not exist, or exists in insufficient detail, in the administrative data; (4) information about the borrower’s attitudes regarding his or her mortgage, property, interactions with lenders and servicers, and life circumstances; and (5) information needed to determine the ultimate outcome of the borrower’s delinquency and the interim steps that led to that outcome. B. Need For and Use of the Information Collection FHFA views the NMDB Program as a whole, including the ASMB, as the monthly ‘‘survey’’ required by section 1324(c) of the Safety and Soundness Act. Core inputs to the NMDB, such as a regular refresh of the credit repository data, occur monthly, though the actual surveys conducted under the NMDB Project do not. The information collected through the ASMB is used, in combination with information obtained from existing sources in the NMDB, to assist FHFA in understanding how the performance of existing mortgages is influencing the residential mortgage 3A copy of the draft 2020 survey questionnaire appears at the end of this notice. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 market, what different borrower groups are discussing with their servicers when they are under financial stress, and consumers’ opinions of federallysponsored programs designed to assist them. This important, but otherwise unavailable, information assists FHFA in the supervision of its regulated entities (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks) and in the development and implementation of appropriate and effective policies and programs. The information may also be used for research and analysis by CFPB and other federal agencies that have regulatory and supervisory responsibilities and mandates related to mortgage markets and to provide a resource for research and analysis by academics and other interested parties outside of the government. As discussed above, the agencies have added to the 2020 ASMB survey questionnaire a number of questions relating to the effect of the COVID–19 pandemic on home mortgage borrowers. FHFA and CFPB are actively engaged in developing policies in response to the COVID–19 pandemic and in support of the recently-enacted CARES Act,4 which addresses various ramifications of the pandemic, including its effects on the residential mortgage market. It is critical for both agencies to have timely access to this information to assist in evidenced-based policymaking in these areas. FHFA is also seeking OMB approval to continue to conduct cognitive pretesting of the survey materials. The Agency uses information collected through that process to assist in drafting and modifying the survey questions and instructions, as well as the related communications, to read in the way that will be most readily understood by the survey respondents and that will be most likely to elicit usable responses. Such information is also used to help the Agency decide on how best to organize and format the survey questionnaires. C. Reason for Emergency Clearance 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 May 29, 2019, prior to the expiration of the control number.5 The 60-day comment period closed on July 29, 2019. FHFA received no comments. 4 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Public Law 116–136 (2020). 5 See 84 FR 24783 (May 29, 2019). PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 After publication of that 60-day Notice, FHFA and CFPB decided not to conduct the survey in 2019 and, instead, to wait until 2020 to conduct the next wave. In light of that decision, FHFA decided to allow the PRA clearance for the ASMB to expire on July 31, 2019 and to continue with the clearance process in early 2020. At the time the Agency was preparing to publish the 30day PRA Notice in the Spring of 2020, the wide effect of the COVID–19 pandemic on the nation’s mortgage markets and overall economy was becoming evident, and the agencies decided to revise the 2020 survey questionnaire to add the questions related to COVID–19 that are discussed above. The addition of those questions has made the survey questionnaire materially different from the version that was published with the 60-day Notice in May 2019 and OMB has informed FHFA that it cannot move forward with the normal clearance process without first publishing a new 60-day Notice attaching the revised survey. If FHFA were to begin the clearance process anew, it is unlikely that it will have received OMB approval for the revised collection in time to send out the survey in the fall of 2020 as is needed to provide the agencies with timely and critical information on the effects of the pandemic on the residential mortgage market. Therefore, with the approval of OMB, FHFA is moving forward with this 30-day notice, after which it will request an emergency six-month clearance for this collection to facilitate the rapid collection of the pandemic-related information. At the appropriate time, FHFA will then initiate a full clearance process to cover future waves of the survey. D. Burden Estimate This information collection consists of two components: (1) The survey; and (2) the pre-testing of the survey questionnaire and related materials through the use of focus groups. FHFA conducted the ASMB annually from 2016 through 2018, but did not conduct the survey in 2019. The Agency currently plans to conduct the survey next in the Fall of 2020. The decision as to whether to conduct the survey on an annual or a biennial basis going forward will depend upon the availability of funding and on the agencies’ assessments as to the need for the type of data collected through the survey. In order to preserve the ability to conduct the survey annually, FHFA assumes, for purposes of these burden estimates, that it will conduct the survey once annually over the next E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices three years. The estimates assume that the Agency will conduct two rounds of pre-testing on each set of survey materials. FHFA has analyzed the total hour burden on members of the public associated with conducting the survey (5,000 hours) and with pre-testing the survey materials (24 hours) and estimates the total annual hour burden imposed on the public by this information collection to be 5,024 hours. The estimate for each phase of the collection was calculated as follows: (1) Conducting the Survey FHFA estimates that the ASMB questionnaire will be sent to 10,000 recipients each time it is conducted. Although it expects that only about 1,800 of those surveys will be returned, FHFA has calculated the burden estimates below as if all of the surveys will be returned. Based on the reported VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 experience of respondents to earlier ASMB questionnaires, FHFA estimates that it will take each respondent 30 minutes to complete each survey, including the gathering of necessary materials to respond to the questions. This results in a total annual burden estimate of 5,000 hours for the survey phase of this collection (1 survey per year × 10,000 respondents per survey × 30 minutes per respondent = 5,000 hours). (2) Pre-Testing the Materials FHFA estimates that it will sponsor two focus groups prior to conducting each annual survey, with 12 participants in each focus group, for a total of 24 focus group participants. It estimates the participation time for each focus group participant to be one hour, resulting in a total annual burden estimate of 24 hours for the pre-testing phase of the collection (2 focus groups PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46107 per year × 12 participants in each group × 1 hour per participant = 24 hours). E. Comment Request 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’s 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 on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Robert Winkler, Chief Information Officer, Federal Housing Finance Agency. BILLING CODE 8070–01–P E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 EN31JY20.013</GPH> 46108 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 46109 EN31JY20.014</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 EN31JY20.015</GPH> 46110 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 46111 EN31JY20.016</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 EN31JY20.017</GPH> 46112 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 46113 EN31JY20.018</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 EN31JY20.019</GPH> 46114 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 46115 EN31JY20.020</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 EN31JY20.021</GPH> 46116 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 46117 EN31JY20.022</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 EN31JY20.023</GPH> 46118 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 148 / Friday, July 31, 2020 / Notices 46119 [FR Doc. 2020–16659 Filed 7–30–20; 8:45 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Jul 30, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 EN31JY20.024</GPH> BILLING CODE 8070–01–C

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 148 (Friday, July 31, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46104-46119]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-16659]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY

[No. 2020-N-14]


Proposed Collection; Comment Request

AGENCY: Federal Housing Finance Agency.

ACTION: National Survey of Mortgage Originations--30-day Notice of 
Submission of Information Collection for Approval for Emergency 
Clearance from Office of Management and Budget.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (PRA), the

[[Page 46105]]

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking public comments 
concerning an information collection known as the ``American Survey of 
Mortgage Borrowers (ASMB),'' which has been assigned control number 
2590-0015 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). FHFA intends to 
submit the information collection to OMB for review and approval of an 
emergency six month renewal of the control number, which expired on 
July 31, 2019.

DATES: Interested persons may submit comments on or before August 31, 
2020.

ADDRESSES: 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) 395-3047, Email: [email protected]. Please also submit 
comments to FHFA, identified by ``Proposed Collection; Comment Request: 
`American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, (No. 2020-N-14)' '' by any of 
the following methods:
     Agency website: www.fhfa.gov/open-for-comment-or-input.
     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 email 
to FHFA at [email protected] to ensure timely receipt by the agency.
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Federal Housing Finance Agency, Eighth 
Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20219, ATTENTION: Proposed 
Collection; Comment Request: ``American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, 
(No. 2020-N-14).'' Please note that all mail sent to FHFA via U.S. Mail 
is routed through a national irradiation facility, a process that may 
delay delivery by approximately two weeks. For any time-sensitive 
correspondence, please plan accordingly.
    We will post all public comments we receive without change, 
including any personal information you provide, such as your name and 
address, email address, and telephone number, on the FHFA website at 
http://www.fhfa.gov. In addition, copies of all comments received will 
be available for examination by the public through the electronic 
comment docket for this PRA Notice also located on the FHFA website.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Saty Patrabansh, Manager, National 
Mortgage Database Program, [email protected], (202) 649-3213; or 
Angela Supervielle, Counsel, [email protected], (202) 649-
3973, (these are not toll-free numbers), Federal Housing Finance 
Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20219. The 
Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    The ASMB is a component of the ``National Mortgage Database'' 
(NMDB[supreg]) Program, which is a joint effort of FHFA and the 
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (jointly, ``the 
agencies''). The NMDB Program is designed to satisfy the 
Congressionally-mandated requirements of section 1324(c) of the Federal 
Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act.\1\ Section 
1324(c) requires that FHFA conduct a monthly survey to collect data on 
the characteristics of individual prime and subprime mortgages, and on 
the borrowers and properties associated with those mortgages, in order 
to enable it to prepare a detailed annual report on the mortgage market 
activities of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) 
and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) for review 
by the appropriate Congressional oversight committees. Section 1324(c) 
also authorizes and requires FHFA to compile a database of otherwise 
unavailable residential mortgage market information and to make that 
information available to the public in a timely fashion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 12 U.S.C. 4544(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As a means of fulfilling those and other statutory requirements, as 
well as to support policymaking and research regarding the residential 
mortgage markets, FHFA and CFPB jointly established the NMDB Program in 
2012. The Program is designed to provide comprehensive information 
about the U.S. mortgage market and has three primary components: (1) 
The NMDB; (2) the quarterly National Survey of Mortgage Originations 
(NSMO); and (3) the ASMB.
    The NMDB is a de-identified loan-level database of closed-end 
first-lien residential mortgage loans that is representative of the 
market as a whole, contains detailed loan-level information on the 
terms and performance of the mortgages and the characteristics of the 
associated borrowers and properties, is continually updated, has an 
historical component dating back to 1998, and provides a sampling frame 
for surveys to collect additional information. The core data in the 
NMDB are drawn from a random 1-in-20 sample of all closed-end first-
lien mortgages outstanding at any time between January 1998 and the 
present in the files of Experian, one of the three national credit 
repositories. A random 1-in-20 sample of mortgages newly-reported to 
Experian is added each quarter.
    The NMDB draws additional information on mortgages in the NMDB 
datasets from other existing sources, including Home Mortgage 
Disclosure Act (HMDA) data that are maintained by the Federal Financial 
Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), property valuation models, 
and administrative data files maintained by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 
and by federal agencies. FHFA also obtains data from the two surveys 
conducted as part of the project--the NSMO and the ASMB. The NSMO is a 
quarterly survey that provides critical and timely information on 
newly-originated mortgages and those borrowing that are not available 
from other sources, including: the range of nontraditional and subprime 
mortgage products being offered, the methods by which these mortgages 
are being marketed, and the characteristics of borrowers for these 
types of loans.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ OMB has cleared the NSMO under the PRA and assigned it 
control no. 2590-0012, which expires on June 30, 2023.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While the NSMO provides information on newly-originated mortgages, 
the ASMB focuses on borrowers' experience with maintaining their 
existing mortgages. This includes their experience maintaining 
mortgages under financial stress, their experience in soliciting 
financial assistance, their success in accessing federally sponsored 
programs designed to assist them, and, where applicable, any challenges 
they may have had in terminating a mortgage loan. In short, the ASMB is 
designed to collect information necessary to allow empirical analysis 
of two questions of vital importance to residential mortgage market 
policymakers and stakeholders: (1) What factors explain or predict 
which borrowers will become delinquent on their mortgages?; and (2) 
Once a borrower becomes delinquent, what factors explain or predict 
whether the borrower will (a) become current on the loan, (b) decide 
they cannot afford the mortgage and sell the property or modify the 
mortgage, or (c) remain delinquent and enter into foreclosure?
    From 2016 through 2018, the ASMB questionnaire was sent once 
annually to a stratified random sample of 10,000 borrowers with 
mortgages in the NMDB. In 2018, the ASMB had an 18.7 percent overall 
response rate, which yielded 1,793 survey responses. FHFA did not 
undertake the ASMB during 2019, but

[[Page 46106]]

intends to send out the survey again in the Fall of 2020.\3\ The 2018 
and 2020 survey questionnaires are substantially similar, except in 
that a number of questions specifically relating to the COVID-19 
pandemic and its effects have been added to the 2020 questionnaire. 
Eight new questions have been added regarding expanded mortgage payment 
forbearance options that may have been offered to borrowers. Two other 
new questions address the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on borrowers' 
homeownership and employment. Because of the elimination of several 
questions, as well as the combination of some other questions, the 
total number of questions has actually decreased from 93 on the 2018 
survey questionnaire to 92 on the 2020 questionnaire.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ A copy of the draft 2020 survey questionnaire appears at the 
end of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Each of the 92 questions on the 2020 survey questionnaire is 
designed to elicit one or more of five different categories of 
information that are not available in the administrative data and that 
are needed either to properly analyze the issues described above or to 
validate the survey responses. These categories are: (1) Information 
needed to validate that the survey reached the correct borrower and 
that the borrower is providing answers about the correct loan; (2) 
information about the mortgage loan that does not exist in sufficient 
detail in the administrative data; (3) information about the borrower's 
economic circumstances that does not exist, or exists in insufficient 
detail, in the administrative data; (4) information about the 
borrower's attitudes regarding his or her mortgage, property, 
interactions with lenders and servicers, and life circumstances; and 
(5) information needed to determine the ultimate outcome of the 
borrower's delinquency and the interim steps that led to that outcome.

B. Need For and Use of the Information Collection

    FHFA views the NMDB Program as a whole, including the ASMB, as the 
monthly ``survey'' required by section 1324(c) of the Safety and 
Soundness Act. Core inputs to the NMDB, such as a regular refresh of 
the credit repository data, occur monthly, though the actual surveys 
conducted under the NMDB Project do not. The information collected 
through the ASMB is used, in combination with information obtained from 
existing sources in the NMDB, to assist FHFA in understanding how the 
performance of existing mortgages is influencing the residential 
mortgage market, what different borrower groups are discussing with 
their servicers when they are under financial stress, and consumers' 
opinions of federally-sponsored programs designed to assist them. This 
important, but otherwise unavailable, information assists FHFA in the 
supervision of its regulated entities (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 
Federal Home Loan Banks) and in the development and implementation of 
appropriate and effective policies and programs. The information may 
also be used for research and analysis by CFPB and other federal 
agencies that have regulatory and supervisory responsibilities and 
mandates related to mortgage markets and to provide a resource for 
research and analysis by academics and other interested parties outside 
of the government.
    As discussed above, the agencies have added to the 2020 ASMB survey 
questionnaire a number of questions relating to the effect of the 
COVID-19 pandemic on home mortgage borrowers. FHFA and CFPB are 
actively engaged in developing policies in response to the COVID-19 
pandemic and in support of the recently-enacted CARES Act,\4\ which 
addresses various ramifications of the pandemic, including its effects 
on the residential mortgage market. It is critical for both agencies to 
have timely access to this information to assist in evidenced-based 
policymaking in these areas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Public 
Law 116-136 (2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FHFA is also seeking OMB approval to continue to conduct cognitive 
pre-testing of the survey materials. The Agency uses information 
collected through that process to assist in drafting and modifying the 
survey questions and instructions, as well as the related 
communications, to read in the way that will be most readily understood 
by the survey respondents and that will be most likely to elicit usable 
responses. Such information is also used to help the Agency decide on 
how best to organize and format the survey questionnaires.

C. Reason for Emergency Clearance 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 May 29, 2019, prior to the 
expiration of the control number.\5\ The 60-day comment period closed 
on July 29, 2019. FHFA received no comments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See 84 FR 24783 (May 29, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After publication of that 60-day Notice, FHFA and CFPB decided not 
to conduct the survey in 2019 and, instead, to wait until 2020 to 
conduct the next wave. In light of that decision, FHFA decided to allow 
the PRA clearance for the ASMB to expire on July 31, 2019 and to 
continue with the clearance process in early 2020. At the time the 
Agency was preparing to publish the 30-day PRA Notice in the Spring of 
2020, the wide effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation's mortgage 
markets and overall economy was becoming evident, and the agencies 
decided to revise the 2020 survey questionnaire to add the questions 
related to COVID-19 that are discussed above. The addition of those 
questions has made the survey questionnaire materially different from 
the version that was published with the 60-day Notice in May 2019 and 
OMB has informed FHFA that it cannot move forward with the normal 
clearance process without first publishing a new 60-day Notice 
attaching the revised survey.
    If FHFA were to begin the clearance process anew, it is unlikely 
that it will have received OMB approval for the revised collection in 
time to send out the survey in the fall of 2020 as is needed to provide 
the agencies with timely and critical information on the effects of the 
pandemic on the residential mortgage market. Therefore, with the 
approval of OMB, FHFA is moving forward with this 30-day notice, after 
which it will request an emergency six-month clearance for this 
collection to facilitate the rapid collection of the pandemic-related 
information. At the appropriate time, FHFA will then initiate a full 
clearance process to cover future waves of the survey.

D. Burden Estimate

    This information collection consists of two components: (1) The 
survey; and (2) the pre-testing of the survey questionnaire and related 
materials through the use of focus groups. FHFA conducted the ASMB 
annually from 2016 through 2018, but did not conduct the survey in 
2019. The Agency currently plans to conduct the survey next in the Fall 
of 2020. The decision as to whether to conduct the survey on an annual 
or a biennial basis going forward will depend upon the availability of 
funding and on the agencies' assessments as to the need for the type of 
data collected through the survey. In order to preserve the ability to 
conduct the survey annually, FHFA assumes, for purposes of these burden 
estimates, that it will conduct the survey once annually over the next

[[Page 46107]]

three years. The estimates assume that the Agency will conduct two 
rounds of pre-testing on each set of survey materials.
    FHFA has analyzed the total hour burden on members of the public 
associated with conducting the survey (5,000 hours) and with pre-
testing the survey materials (24 hours) and estimates the total annual 
hour burden imposed on the public by this information collection to be 
5,024 hours. The estimate for each phase of the collection was 
calculated as follows:

(1) Conducting the Survey

    FHFA estimates that the ASMB questionnaire will be sent to 10,000 
recipients each time it is conducted. Although it expects that only 
about 1,800 of those surveys will be returned, FHFA has calculated the 
burden estimates below as if all of the surveys will be returned. Based 
on the reported experience of respondents to earlier ASMB 
questionnaires, FHFA estimates that it will take each respondent 30 
minutes to complete each survey, including the gathering of necessary 
materials to respond to the questions. This results in a total annual 
burden estimate of 5,000 hours for the survey phase of this collection 
(1 survey per year x 10,000 respondents per survey x 30 minutes per 
respondent = 5,000 hours).

(2) Pre-Testing the Materials

    FHFA estimates that it will sponsor two focus groups prior to 
conducting each annual survey, with 12 participants in each focus 
group, for a total of 24 focus group participants. It estimates the 
participation time for each focus group participant to be one hour, 
resulting in a total annual burden estimate of 24 hours for the pre-
testing phase of the collection (2 focus groups per year x 12 
participants in each group x 1 hour per participant = 24 hours).

E. Comment Request

    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's 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 on respondents, including 
through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of 
information technology.

Robert Winkler,
Chief Information Officer, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
BILLING CODE 8070-01-P

[[Page 46108]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.013


[[Page 46109]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.014


[[Page 46110]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.015


[[Page 46111]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.016


[[Page 46112]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.017


[[Page 46113]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.018


[[Page 46114]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.019


[[Page 46115]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.020


[[Page 46116]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.021


[[Page 46117]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.022


[[Page 46118]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.023


[[Page 46119]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JY20.024

[FR Doc. 2020-16659 Filed 7-30-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8070-01-C