Borrowers with limited English proficiency are said to be more likely to make it through the complex application process, enabling lenders to close loans faster and boost loan officer production.

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Small-to-midsize mortgage lenders now have access to a tool designed for providing better services to Latino homebuyers with limited English proficiency, with the release of a Spanish-language point-of-sale platform by mortgage technology provider Maxwell.

Other point-of-sale platforms offer more limited help for Spanish-speaking borrowers — either a translated landing page or subtitles in the loan applications, according to Maxwell. In many cases, borrowers need bilingual loan officers to walk them through the applications.

Rutul Davé

“When we looked at the landscape of current point-of-sale systems, they did very little in terms of supporting the growing Hispanic American population,” Maxwell co-founder and CTO Rutul Davé told Inman. “The approach usually has been you offer somebody on staff who can help guide and translate throughout the process.”

Maxwell’s Español mortgage solution lets borrowers complete mortgage applications in Spanish or English, offering the ability to switch back and forth between languages at any time.

Loan officers can work in English, and Maxwell’s point-of-sale platform integrates with lenders’ back-end loan loan origination systems, ensuring compliance with Uniform Residential Loan Application requirements.

Davé said Maxwell’s Español mortgage solution benefits from the input provided by the company’s in-house Spanish-speaking mortgage processors and underwriters, who helped ensure that translations provided the necessary cultural context and retained industry-specific context and nuance.

The end result is that borrowers are more likely to make it through the complex application process with the help of technology on the back-end, which allows lenders to automate the process of pulling in supporting documentation like income and asset verification, he said.

“My first interaction with the loan officer, or in the process, is that loan application, and that plays a big role in building that trust and comfort,” Davé said.

Maxwell claims lenders using its point-of-sale are achieving application submission rates exceeding 90 percent, and that its mortgage platform enables lenders to close loans 13 days faster and boost their loan officers’ production by more than 15 percent.

Although inventory shortages and rising home prices have put a dent in their buying power, Hispanic and Latino homebuyers represent a significant share of the market, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).

Source: U.S. Census and National Association of Realtors data / National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals 2021 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report.

With the Hispanic homeownership rate inching toward 50 percent, Latinos accounted for 68 percent of new homeowners in 2015, NAHREP estimates. Inventory shortages and rising home prices have since brought the Latino share of new homeowners down to just 18.1 percent in 2021.

But the Latino share of new homeownership is expected to bounce back as the demographic “ages into” their prime homebuying years. Nearly two-thirds (64.3 percent) of Latinos are age 40 or younger, according to NAHREP’s 2021 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report.

Founded in 2015, Denver-based Maxwell Financial Labs Inc. and its subsidiary, Maxwell Lender Solutions Inc., do business as “Maxwell,” providing services to more than 300 mortgage lenders, banks and credit unions.

Maxwell announced a $52.5 million raise in October that it said would allow it to hire new talent in its product, engineering, sales and marketing departments.

In December, Maxwell rolled out a new product, Maxwell Processor Edge, designed to help small-to-midsize mortgage lenders employ machine learning to accelerate the document review process and catch mistakes before loans are underwritten.

Other offerings include Maxwell Diligence, which lets lenders outsource their quality control and due diligence, and Maxwell Capital, a service designed to help lenders sell their loans on the secondary market.

Get Inman’s Extra Credit Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. A weekly roundup of all the biggest news in the world of mortgages and closings delivered every Wednesday. Click here to subscribe.

Email Matt Carter

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