The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have announced the launch of Mortgage Translations–a centralized clearinghouse of online resources to assist lenders, servicers, housing counselors, and other real estate professionals in serving Limited-English Proficient (LEP) borrowers.
FHFA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae collaborated extensively with industry experts, consumer advocates, and other government agencies in developing the online collection of mortgage documents, educational materials, and a new online Spanish-English glossary produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)in collaboration with FHFA and the GSEs. The glossary is expected to be particularly helpful in standardizing translations across the mortgage industry.
“FHFA is proud to collaborate with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and so many others on this important initiative to help address language barriers that impede access to mortgage credit," said Janell Byrd-Chichester, Chief of Staff at FHFA. “The Mortgage Translations clearinghouse is one part of a Language Access Multi-Year Plan and includes a number of meaningful resources to help mortgage industry professionals reach a broader range of borrowers."
The first phase of the launch consists of Spanish-language documents. According to the U.S. Census, persons who speak Spanish as their primary language comprise more than 60 percent of the LEP population in the U.S. Resources in four other languages commonly spoken by LEP households–Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Tagalog–will be added in the coming years.
“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, Senior Vice President of Single-Family Affordable Lending and Access to Credit at Freddie Mac. “The materials included on this website will provide lenders, servicers, real estate professionals and housing counselors with tools to better assist, educate and engage LEP borrowers throughout the mortgage process."
Jonathan Lawless, Vice President for Product Development and Affordable Housing at Fannie Mae, said, “Fannie Mae is excited to partner with FHFA and Freddie Mac to launch this central source of translated documents. This online resource will educate, engage and better assist LEP borrowers when shopping for a mortgage."