CFPB Releases Spanish Translation of Natural Disaster Guidance

After releasing a document earlier this month providing guidance for reverse mortgage borrowers affected by natural disasters, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has translated the document for native Spanish speakers and made it available for originators and other stakeholders with Spanish-speaking customers.

“Recently the CFPB released a guide for older homeowners on how to meet their reverse mortgage loan obligations while recovering from a hurricane, fire, flood or other natural disaster,” said Cora Hume, from the CFPB’s Office for Older Americans in a press release. “This guide for borrowers with Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, the most common type of reverse mortgage loan, is now also available in both English and Spanish.”

The document is designed primarily for borrowers who are at risk of not meeting the terms of a reverse mortgage loan due to damage inflicted on their liened property resulting from some kind of natural disaster.

“After a natural disaster, reverse mortgage borrowers may experience damage to their home, unexpected expenses, and a sudden loss of income,” Hume says. “All these things may make it difficult for them to comply with the loan requirements, which could lead to foreclosure.”

The document itself consists of reminding borrowers what their obligations are under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, and offers relevant information for how those obligations can still be met even if a home has been damaged by a natural disaster. It also includes tips to help older homeowners avoid scams, as scammers typically try to take advantage of the disarray created by the aftermath of a natural disaster in targeting seniors who are trying to pick up the proverbial pieces of their lives.

CFPB also offers specific tips for a borrower to engage with his or her insurance company, including in scenarios where a borrower’s policy either covers or denies coverage. Borrowers affected by natural disasters are encouraged to aggressively pursue remedies related to their properties, and if coverage is denied then a borrower is well within their rights to ask for specific reasons for denial in writing. If a borrower believes they have wrongly been denied coverage, then CFPB encourages the affected borrower to seek out the advice of a legal professional.

The new translation of the guide is available for free through the Government Publishing Office in both digital and physical formats. Hard copies can also be ordered in bulk amounts designed for clients, financial caregivers, and “anyone else who could benefit from the information,” the CFPB says.

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