The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said late Friday that it will require nine of the nation's largest banks that service mortgages to provide comprehensive mortgage data to the government agency on a monthly basis. The required data will build upon the efforts of the HOPE NOW alliance, the OCC said in a press statement. In a letter sent to the banks last week, Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan said the agency is requiring the data "in order to assure that we have a detailed picture of the activities of national bank servicers and the performance of loans serviced by them." Dugan noted that the data collection effort was discussed at a meeting with the banks on February 7 and said the agency "was very pleased with the level of cooperation evidenced at the meeting and the recognition of the importance of prompt provision of data to us." The data is expected to aid in the OCC's supervisory work as well as help in preventing unnecessary foreclosures, it said. Metrics developed from the data on subprime lending will also be made available to state agencies through the HOPE NOW alliance. While the HOPE NOW alliance is already collecting data on subprime mortgages, the OCC said it will require a broader data set that includes information on all mortgages being serviced, and that it plans to expand its data collection effort to home equity loans later this year. HOPE NOW has revised and expanded its subprime mortgage metrics to be more consistent with the enhanced metrics to be used by the OCC, the agency said, while it made some revisions in the interest of compatibility with the HOPE NOW data already being collected. As a result, national banks can satisfy the OCC reporting requirements either by sending mortgage data directly to the OCC, or the OCC will accept mortgage data prepared on behalf of national banks from the HOPE NOW alliance data aggregator. “We also believe it is important to build upon, and not conflict with, the mortgage data collection efforts of the HOPE NOW Alliance, whose members constitute a broad cross-section of industry and community organizations working to tackle the foreclosure crisis,” Dugan said.