'Home, sweet casa' - Access to home loans in Los Angeles: A critique of English and Spanish home loan brochures

Ellen E. Touchstone, Robert B. Kaplan, Cynthia L. Hagstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In the U.S., the Community Reinvestment (CRA) and Home Mortgage Disclosure Acts (HMDA) have focused attention on fair lending practices. The CRA mandates banks to serve all communities, including minority and low-income populations, within their geographic boundaries. One test regulators use to determine compliance examines percentages of minority group loans in banks' HMDA data. In 1993, HMDA data showed lower percentages of home loans to Latinos1 in California. This finding belies a study by Dataquick Information Systems showing that Latinos constitute the fastest growing home buyer group in Los Angeles County. However, instead of seeking loans from banks, many Latinos utilize non-bank resources. Touchstone (1995) argues that Latinos use non-bank sources because Los Angeles banks provide inadequate minority language services. Kaplan, Touchstone, and Hagstrom (1995) have focused on one area of such services: written brochures and their translation problems. From this research, they developed a translationmiscue paradigm implicating three types of problems: i) translation error, ii) translation misfit, and iii) translation omission. The current study focuses on English and Spanish home mortgage brochures, demonstrating that these are also marked by the same translation miscues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-349
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

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