Removing Barriers Blog

FHFA Responds to Our Advocacy on URLA Language Preference
Posted August 02, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, responded favorably to concerns that we expressed in a recent letter, about a proposed change to the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) that would have required lenders to inquire about the language preference of borrowers.

This departure from current practice, contemplated in the context of a broader update to the URLA, could have potentially raised significant questions about the obligation of credit unions to provide oral and written translation services to members for whom English is not a primary language. We have argued that this change should only be undertaken in the context of an appropriately open process with opportunity for notice and comment.  As a result of our advocacy, the FHFA recently elected to table the proposed change.

We will continue to monitor proposed updates to the URLA, scheduled to be finalized in 2016 for adoption in 2018, for other potential changes that could materially affect credit unions' ability to meet their members' demand for mortgage products.