Talk’uments Unveils Digital Language Services in Six Languages

May 31, 2022

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) technology provider Talk’uments now offers digital language services to mortgage lenders in English, Spanish and Mandarin (Chinese). The offerings were announced days after a recent Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) mandate that lenders use the Supplemental Consumer Information Form (SCIF) in order for those loans to be eligible for sale to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

The purpose of the SCIF is to collect information about a borrower's language preference as well as any homebuyer education or housing counseling the borrower received, so lenders can better understand borrower needs during the home buying process. Lenders will be required to adopt these changes and reporting requirements for loans with application dates on or after March 1, 2023, in order for the loans to qualify for sale to the GSEs.

The new FHFA requirement is reminiscent of plans to require a language preference question on the redesigned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA), which were eventually nixed by the Trump Administration.

According to Talk’uments Founder and CEO George Baker, the SCIF requirement is one step closer to a federal requirement that mortgage lenders provide standardized language resources and educational materials in the preferred language of borrowers of Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

“Numerous states have already unveiled LEP requirements, and we’ve already seen strong language from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) indicating support for new requirements for multi-language resources for LEP borrowers,” he said. “But it’s more than just a matter of compliance. As the American homebuying demographic grows increasingly more diverse, it’s simply good business for lenders to make the process as smooth as possible, and that would include digital language services and educational materials their borrowers can easily understand.” 

The company plans to introduce services in Vietnamese, Korean and Tagalog by the end of the year.

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