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MIRAMAR, Fla. – Eastern Financial Florida CU is one of two select lenders – and the first financial institution in South Florida – that will soon begin using bilingual mortgage documents and educational materials developed by Kluwer Financial Services’ VMP Mortgage Solutions in collaboration with Freddie Mac. The other lender is New York-based Home Funding Finders. Dynatek, a Wolters Kluwer Financial Services partner and the first technology provider to use the tools, will also be participating by providing its lender base with bilingual mortgage documents soon. The new bilingual tools are designed to make Spanish-speaking homebuyers more comfortable with the mortgage lending process and to assist lenders who serve the Spanish-speaking community by reducing the communication barriers that often exist in understanding the mortgage process. Eastern Financial Florida CU, the largest CU in South Florida says that as a result of its “unique” collaboration with VMP Mortgage Solutions and Freddie Mac, the $2 billion CU will be developing bilingual security instruments, notes, and other mortgage documents, as well as bilingual consumer education brochures concerning the mortgage process. The brochure series presents a step-by-step approach to the mortgage lending process. The educational materials, “A Home Buyer’s Guide to the Mortgage Process and Paperwork,” use some content from Freddie Mac’s CreditSmart Espaol consumer financial literacy curriculum. Each of the educational pieces contains corresponding English and Spanish text to allow speakers of either language to follow the information. Wolters Kluwer said the educational brochures will be completed in mid-2006. EFFCU Assistant Vice president Florence Boni said the CU has been able to “verbally communicate with our Hispanic homebuyers, but our documents in the past had not been translated to allow the process to be consistent. With translated documents, we enable the borrowers to review more detailed information and become more comfortable with all of the processes required to obtain a mortgage loan.” According to Mercedes Hanabergh, Latin community development officer for EFFCU, since all the mortgage documents – including origination and closing – will be bilingual in English and Spanish they will pass legal muster. The credit union is working with Dynatek on the mortgage documents, and Hanabergh said EFFCU expects everything to be completed within the next two to three months. “We’ve worked with Kluwer Financial Services prior to this and they knew we needed these documents in bilingual format. We have a number of our members who have requested mortgage information in Spanish, and being so proactive on behalf of our Spanish-speaking members helped us be selected by Kluwer Financial Services to use these tools,” Hanabergh said. According to Patti Boerger, public relations director for Freddie Mac, VMP is responsible for making sure the mortgage documents abide by state laws. -

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