The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it is using the information from its National Mortgage Database to power a new Mortgage Performance Trends tool on its website.

The tool tracks delinquency rates nationwide and features interactive charts and graphs, with data on mortgage delinquency rates for 50 states and the District of Columbia at the county and metro-area level.

“Measuring the number of consumers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments is a telling barometer of the health of mortgage markets locally and nationally,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “This rich information source identifies mortgage delinquency rates down to the county and metro-area level, making it a useful public tool.”

The new tool, found here, measures delinquency rates in two general categories. The first category is comprised of borrowers who are 30 to 89 days behind on their mortgage payments. The second category is serious delinquencies, which is made up of borrowers who are more than 90 days overdue.

The database the tool is using has created some problems in the past though.

When the CFPB and the Federal Housing Finance Agency launched the National Mortgage Database in 2012, they called it "the first comprehensive repository of detailed mortgage loan information," and they said the purpose was to support policymaking and regulatory research.

 “This partnership between FHFA and CFPB will create a unique resource that benefits the government and public as we seek to answer important questions about how the housing finance market is evolving and changing,” said Edward DeMarco, who was FHFA acting director at the time. “This collaborative effort is a great way to pool expertise and leverage resources for the benefit of regulators and the public.”

The CFPB cautioned from the start that the database would not contain personally identifiable information. Both the FHFA and CFPB said precautions would be in place so individual homeowners cannot be identified through the database or through any subsequent public datasets.

But from early on, members of Congress have been wary.

Some opponents to the database say it doesn’t have sufficient security and privacy protections to ensure there is no risk of improper collection, use, or release of consumer financial data. 

But once again, the CFPB emphasized in this new announcement that the tool has many protections in place to protect personal identity.