Politics & MoneyMortgage

FHFA collaborates with Fannie, Freddie to launch resource for non-English proficient borrowers

Mortgage Translations provides materials for lending professionals

The process of applying for a home loan can be confusing and tedious, especially for those who may not call English their first language.  

To combat these difficulties, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have partnered to launch a centralized clearinghouse of online resources needed to assist borrowers who have limited proficiency in English.

“Freddie Mac is pleased to work with FHFA and Fannie Mae on this language access multi-year plan, as it demonstrates our commitment to help make home possible for today’s borrower and the borrower of the future,” said Danny Gardner, Freddie Mac's senior vice president of single-family affordable lending and access to credit.

The online collection, Mortgage Translations, will provide lenders, servicers, counselors and real estate professionals with the tools they need to help borrowers through the home loan process.

“The Mortgage Translations clearinghouse is one part of a Language Access Multi-Year Plan PDF and includes a number of meaningful resources to help mortgage industry professionals reach a broader range of borrowers,” FHFA Chief of Staff Janell Byrd-Chichester said.

In order to make this possible, the organizations collaborated with industry experts, consumer advocates and government agencies to develop the online collection of mortgage documents and educational materials.

According to Freddie, the share of "limited English proficient" borrowers is likely to grow in the coming decades, and mortgage market participants need tools that can help them serve these consumers.

Data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that more than 60% of the LEP population consists of people who speak Spanish as their primary language.

Mortgage Translations' first launch phase will feature Spanish-language documents, including a new online Spanish-English glossary produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in collaboration with FHFA and the enterprises.

Freddie said Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Tagalog will be added in the coming years.

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