According to data from the United States Census of 2000, the top five languages other than English most widely spoken by Californians in their homes are Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean. Together, these languages are spoken by approximately 83 percent of all Californians who speak a language other than English in their homes, or more than 9.96 million people.

When you consider that it can be difficult even for native English speakers to understand a complicated real estate contract, it’s not hard to imagine that limited-English individuals are especially susceptible to fraudulent lending practices. California Assembly Bill 1160, passed in 2009 and in effect as of January 1, 2010, addresses this.

If negotiations for a real estate transaction are conducted in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, the borrower must be given a written translation of the contract and/or the appropriate disclosures and forms. If there are any substantial revisions to the contract, then these revisions must be translated as well.

Avantpage has released a special report called “New Standards For Contract Translation In California.” The report discusses the full implications of the new law as well as strategies for lenders and brokers seeking compliance.