A coalition of industry trade groups has asked the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to extend the response period on its proposal to improve language access in mortgage lending and servicing from 45 to 90 days.
In May, the FHFA issued a Request for Input on Improving Language Access in Mortgage Lending and Servicing, with goal of better serving borrowers with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). The trade groups reaffirmed their commitment to the FHFA’s goals, but stated the 45-day period was not enough for them to provide the level of information on current and potential resources that would be used for this endeavor.
"Considering, however, the need for broad and diverse participation by lenders of all sizes and business models; thoughtful consideration of the manifold resources and approaches today; identification of legal and other concerns; and the multi-year effort that FHFA admits will be needed to better serve LEP borrowers, there is ample justification for an extension of this RFI's comment period of at least 45 days," the trade groups said in a letter to the regulator. "[We] are committed to working with FHFA and other stakeholders on improving methods for identifying and alleviating challenges faced by LEP borrowers. The time currently allotted, however, is simply insufficient to thoughtfully respond to issues of this magnitude."
Post-script: Several hours after the trade groups' letter was made public, the FHFA announced that it was extending the deadline for its response period from the original July 10 cut-off to July 31.
The trade groups responding to the FHFA included the American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Consumer Mortgage Coalition, Credit Union National Association, Housing Policy Council of the Financial Services Roundtable, Independent Community Bankers of America, Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.