Fewer lenders tightened their standards for mortgage borrowers in July from a year ago, according to a Federal Reserve survey of senior loan officer opinions on lending practices. After peaking at 75% in July 2008, the net percentage of domestic banks with tightened lending standards for prime residential mortgages fell to roughly 20% in July 2009. About 15% of officers responding to the July survey reported increased demand for prime mortgages, down from 35% in April, the last time the survey was conducted. The percentage of officers that reported weaker demand remained relatively unchanged at 15% in July. Banks with tightened lending standards for nontraditional residential mortgages fell to 45% from 65% in April. Fewer lenders had tightened lending standards on home equity lines of credit as well. About 30% of loan officers reported tightened standards in July, down from 50% in the April survey. In addition, fewer banks (15%) reported a decline in demand for home equity loans, from 30% in the April survey. Write to Austin Kilgore.
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