DEVAL, a Hispanic-focused servicer, has expanded its services to include mortgage loan origination, focusing on lending to the underserved Hispanic community.
The platform, Your Home Now Mortgage, launched in October. Your Home Now Mortgage features a Spanish language counterpart, Su Casa Ahora Mortgage, that was designed specifically for the Spanish-speaking market.
Su Casa Ahora Mortgage provides a wide range of communications and documents in Spanish, to effectively communicate with borrowers about the needs of their loan.
For the past 15 years, DEVAL has serviced and monitored more than 700,000 loans and been a steadfast advocate for housing counseling and increasing homeownership to Hispanic communities.
DEVAL’s Founder and President Debbie Garcia-Gratacos said the biggest opportunity is in providing language-specific information for lending and servicing to the ever-increasing diverse population in the U.S.
In 2016, the homeownership rate among Hispanics increased to 46% in 2016, up from 45.6% in 2015, according to a report from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the overall homeownership rate dropped from 63.7% in 2015 to 63.4% in 2016. The rate of homeownership among African-Americans dipped from 43% to 42.2% and the Asian-American rate dropped from 56.5% to 55.5% for the same time period.
Hispanics were the only ethnic demographic with an increase in their homeownership rate. They led the nation in household formations with an increase of 330,000 households in 2016.
This growing population of homeowners shows the opportunities that serving the Hispanic market can provide the housing and mortgage industries.
“Hispanics are an essential market for the mortgage lending industry,” Garcia-Gratacos said. “With all signs showing a rebound in the housing market, now is the time to ensure that the customer communication is strengthened, positioning the mortgage finance market to prosper by serving the Hispanic community and providing Hispanic families the opportunity to build long-term wealth.”
“Having a bilingual origination team is very important,” she said.
DEVAL believes that a Spanish-speaking local presence with expertise in originations and homeownership programs is invaluable.
Garcia-Gratacos, an attorney with a background in real estate and finance, including originations and underwriting, founded DEVAL in 2003, after the downturn of the financial market. Today, the company is licensed to conduct loan servicing activities nationwide, including in Puerto Rico.
Because DEVAL understands its clients, Your Home Now Mortgage’s application experience is simple and stress-free. The company understands the local market and the intricacies of the communities it serves and are able to get borrowers the best loan possible. Whether the homebuyer is ready to purchase or a homeowner is ready to refinance their existing mortgage, Your Home Now Mortgage and Su Casa Ahora Mortgage offer a variety of solutions including standard conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and JUMBO loans, as well as a variety of specialty products.
“We are forward thinking; we understand that the U.S. is made up of diverse people with diverse backgrounds and languages. As such, the industry must adapt to this group of future homeowners,” Garcia-Gratacos said.