Published: March 2016

Improving language access for homeowners is overdue

Communication improvements are needed in the mortgage industry for people who are not fluent in English. Currently there is no comprehensive system for collecting or assessing the language needs of homebuyers or of homeowners. In a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, coalition partners recommend data collection improvements that would help the federal government address important issues that impact many households in today’s diverse marketplace.

The mortgage industry is behind in addressing the language needs of the people they serve and identifying the language preference of their customers in the mortgage application is a needed step in the process. In a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Consumer Action joined housing advocates in highlighting the need for improved communication with homeowners and homebuyers with limited English proficiency.

The redesign of the Universal Residential Loan Application (URLA) would be a massive change for the industry. Allowing mortgage applicants to choose the language that they are most comfortable communicating in addresses a major problem lenders and servicers have when working with limited English proficiency populations. Collecting this information through the (URLA) is the most comprehensive way to do so, because every mortgage borrower fills one out.

It’s time this application update is made to meet the demands of the current mortgage marketplace.

Lead Organization

National Housing Resource Center (NHRC)

Other Organizations

A. Philip Randolph Institute | Alliance for a Just Society | American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) | Americans for Financial Reform | Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC | Center For Responsible Lending | Consumer Action | HomeFree-USA | Housing Partnership Network | LatinoJustice PRLDEF | The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights | NAACP | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National Association of Human Rights Workers | National Black Justice Coalition | National CAPACD | National Center for Lesbian Rights | National Consumer Law Center | National Council of La Raza | National Education Association | National Fair Housing Alliance | National Housing Law Project | National Urban League | Poverty & Race Research Action Council

More Information

For more information, please visit NHRC.

Download PDF

Improving language access for homeowners is overdue   (URLAlanguagepref.compressed.pdf)




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