Jo Carrillo has just published an article called Translation for the Latino Market Today: The Rights of Consumers in a Multilingual Housing Market, which appears at 11 Harv. Latino L. Rev. 1 (2008). Here's the abstract:
The Federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA) requires lenders to disclose the full cost of credit to borrowers. In the case of linguistic minorities, California law goes one step further. Under California Civil Code section 1632, lenders are required to provide unexecuted translations of loan documents to consumers whose language of proficiency is Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean. Recently, the Northern District Court of California has read this language to apply to mortgage loans originated by real estate brokers. This Article considers the needs of consumers in a multilingual housing market and then offers a sketch of California Civil Code section 1632, which is important consumer protection legislation. Despite its technical uncertainties (and there are a few), section 1632 represents an important step toward affirming the economic, legal, and civil rights of consumers who, by virtue of their language proficiencies, are vulnerable in credit markets.