How the CPI Analyzed Subprime Lenders

We had the opportunity to work with the Center for Public Integrity to analyze almost 5 million home mortgage loans originated between 2005 and 2007. The Center’s investigation found that the top subprime lenders whose loans are blamed for triggering the global economic meltdown were owned or backed by the same banks now collecting billions of dollars in bailout money.

In this video, we show that a small number of lenders were responsible for a disproportionately high number of the riskiest loans. We found that lenders targeted neighborhoods, such as Scottsdale, Arizona, that are now at the center of the subprime mortgage crisis. We also provided the center with heat maps to identify where the 25 largest subprime lenders targeted their business and we show the types of loans that they were issuing. An example of geographic targeting is shown in the images below, where the color intensity is a function of the concentration of subprime loans in a region. We can see that Countrywide was active in large parts of many states, while National City was particularly active in the mid-west and around major cities.


National City