The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced that for residential mortgage loans to be sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with application dates on or after March 1, 2023, the lender must present a Supplemental Consumer Information Form (SCIF) to collect information on the applicant’s language preference.  Previous plans to include a language preference question in the redesigned Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) were scuttled by the Trump Administration.

The SCIF also will allow the applicant to indicate any homeownership education or housing counseling that they have received.  In announcing the SCIF requirement, FHFA stated that the “purpose of the SCIF is to collect information about the borrower’s language preference, if any, and on any homebuyer education or housing counseling the borrower received, so lenders can better understand borrower needs during the home buying process.”

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra stated that the “CFPB welcomes the FHFA’s announcement today. As those lenders and financial companies that already collect the language preference of applicants and borrowers know, this information allows lenders to serve their customers better. The collection of applicants’ language preference does not violate the Equal Credit Opportunity Act or its implementing regulations.”

FHFA advised that the SCIF will be available on the FHFA’s Mortgage Translations website later this summer.  However, a version of the SCIF with a May 2022 date is currently available on Fannie Mae’s website.