November 16, 2017

CFPB's language access plan offers resources to CUs

The CFPB yesterday published a final notice of its revised language access plan, which is intended to improve access to CFPB resources and services for those individuals who have limited English proficiency (LEP). The final plan will help credit unions educate their LEP members about financial services and provide them with resources in their preferred language.

The CFPB initially requested public comment on its proposed language access plan in October 2014. The bureau has updated its plan based on comments on improving outreach in LEP communities, gathering data about linguistic needs and preferences, hiring multilingual staff and improving the CFPB's data collection on race and ethnicity.

Last month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it would be adding a preferred language question to the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) that will be mandatory for government-sponsored enterprise loans beginning in February 2020.

While the CFPB's language access plan is more comprehensive and covers a broader array of issues than the FHFA's URLA change, it would not impose additional burdens on credit unions. Rather, it would provide numerous resources – including brochures, consumer advisories, checklists and fact sheets – translated into various languages to improve the financial literacy of LEP individuals.