DS News

DS News Jan 2023

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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49 • If customer service personnel are available to provide assistance in languages other than English, are they dedicated customer service personnel (as opposed to personnel who have other roles but are available to translate on an as-needed basis)? "No" answers indicate room for improvement. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXISTING LANGUAGE RESOURCES Fortunately, servicers do not have to create their own documents and educational material. ere are many language resources for mortgage servicers and borrowers available through the Mortgage Translations clearinghouse and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website. Understanding the complicated mortgage process is challenging for many borrowers—even without a language barrier. LEP borrowers must be able to understand escrow (a concept that doesn't translate well) and, if relevant, forbearance repayment options and how to avoid foreclosure. Servicers should provide interpretation services and translated documents to help LEP borrowers navigate these processes. LEP borrowers appreciate being able to speak with knowledgeable people who can explain the complicated mortgage process in their native tongue. e government expects mortgage professionals to help LEP borrowers successfully navigate the complicated mortgage process. Fortunately, mortgage servicing software can and should play a role in assisting LEP borrowers. Servicers should use mortgage servicing software that, at a minimum, allows them to indicate borrowers' preferred language. is helps servicers direct borrowers to the right staff who can quick- ly and easily assist them. e language preference indicator can also alert customer support or col- lections staff that a borrower may need translated documents or an interpreter. Servicers should not wait for the CFPB or Congress to mandate support for LEP con- sumers. Servicers should evaluate their LEP servicing practices and language access resources and improve them if needed. Doing so will help them comply with CFPB guidelines and future laws, improve customer service, and build a strong customer base of diverse borrowers. Matthew Perez is VP of Mortgage Servicer Product Development for FICS (Financial Industry Computer Systems, Inc.), a mortgage software company specializing in mortgage origination, residential mortgage servicing, and commercial mortgage servicing software for mortgage lenders, housing agencies, banks, and credit unions.

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