|The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) yesterday issued a Request for Input on how the single family housing market can better serve qualified borrowers with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). FHFA published this request to advance one of the goals of its 2017 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Common Securitization Solutions, which calls on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to identify obstacles impacting LEP borrowers and formulate plans for increasing such borrowers’ access to mortgage credit.
FHFA specifically requests information on what tools mortgage lenders, servicers, housing counselors, and other mortgage industry participants currently use to assist LEP borrowers and whether they are effective. The Request also asks about the specific barriers that make it difficult for LEP borrowers to access the mortgage market.
In addition, the Request solicits input on possible short-term and long-term policies and tools that could be implemented to make it easier for the mortgage market to serve LEP borrowers. Possible short-term solutions (those that can be implemented within 18 months) that FHFA seeks comment on include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac support for language translation services; creating additional mortgage origination and servicing documents; FHFA (or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) developing and publishing best practices for serving LEP borrowers; and establishing a centralized clearinghouse of all resources that can be used to assist LEP borrowers.
FHFA also seeks feedback on whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should attempt to collect information on borrowers’ language preferences through the Uniform Mortgage Data Program. The Request also asks stakeholders to identity any legal or regulatory obligations FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac would have to consider when developing new policies and procedures to assist LEP borrowers.
The deadline to respond to the Request is Monday, July 10. If you have any input on this issue you would like NCSHA to consider, please email Greg Zagorski by Monday, July 3.