On April 29, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released Spanish language translations for certain model and sample forms included in the Prepaid Rule in Regulation E and for certain adverse action model and sample notices included in Regulation B.
The Bureau also used the announcement as an “opportunity to remind financial institutions of their obligation to serve the communities where they do business, including communities with limited English proficiency.” Many financial institutions looking for safe harbor language often rely on translations provided by regulators to bridge the opportunity gap between non-English-speaking communities and avenues for credit.
The ECOA model and sample forms in Spanish include (links to the Spanish versions):
- C-1: Notice of Action Taken and Statement of Reasons – Adverse Action based on outside source other than CRA
- C-2: Notice of Action Taken and Statement of Reasons
- C-3: Notice of Action Taken – Credit Score
- C-4: Notice of Action Taken – Counteroffer
- C-5: Disclosure of Right to Request Specific Reason for Credit Denial
- C-6: Notice of Incomplete Application
- C-7: Notice of Action Taken – Business Credit
- C-8: Disclosure of Right to Request Specific Reason for Credit Denial – Business Credit
The prepaid model forms and samples in Spanish include (links to the Spanish version):
- Model Form A-10(a): Short Form Disclosures for Government Benefit Accounts
- Model Form A-10(b): Short Form Disclosures for Payroll Card Accounts
- Model Form A-10(c): Short Form Disclosures for Prepaid Accounts, Example 1
- Model Form A-10(d): Short Form Disclosures for Prepaid Accounts, Example 2
- Model Form A-10(e): Short Form Disclosures for Prepaid Accounts with Multiple Service Plans
- Sample Form A-10(f): Long-Form Disclosures for Prepaid Accounts
While financial institutions are not statutorily required to use these Spanish-language forms, those wishing to provide translated versions of these documents will likely gravitate to the model forms.
While we find the model forms interesting, we find even more interesting the Bureau’s statement about financial institutions’ “obligation” to serve customers with limited English proficiency. The Bureau’s latest official guidance on LEP consumers — the January 2021 “Statement Regarding the Provision of Financial Products and Services to Consumers with Limited English Proficiency” — mentioned no such “obligation,” but rather spoke in permissive terms about financial institutions that might wish to provide in-language services in non-English languages. It appears to us that this permissive approach is shifting toward a more mandatory one, and we view the “obligation” language in the Bureau’s announcement as further evidence of this shift.