Mortgage lending data from 8,388 US financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) showed a decline in both lenders and originations in 2008 from levels seen in 2007. The data, released this week by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), illustrate a 3% decrease in the number of reporting institutions and loans, primarily reflecting a large decline in the number of independent mortgage companies. Warehouse mortgage funding continued to dry up at the same time, a problem that led to the recently proposed legislation that aims to support and facilitate increased warehouse credit capacity for qualified lenders. Mortgage originations plunged by 31% -- or by about 3.3m loans -- from 2007. The Federal Housing Administration's presence in first liens origination rose by 169% from 2007. As overall originations declined, the share of first liens covered by FHA insurance expanded from 5.5% in 2007 to 19.6% in 2008. The occurrence of higher-priced loans slipped to 12% of all mortgages in 2008 from 18% in 2007 and from 29% in 2006. The occurrence of higher-priced loans among black borrowers was 17.1%. Higher-priced loans were made to 15.4% of Hispanic whites represented in the data. The occurrence was lower for non-Hispanic whites (6.5%) and Asians (3.3%). Write to Diana Golobay.