When Spanish Alone isn’t enough

How to download actual paper versions Bank Statements when using the Spanish language version of Bank of America online banking.


By now everybody should know that getting a mortgage loan to buy a house today is not as easy as it was in 2007. The so called mortgage meltdown of 2008 changed everything; just ask anyone who obtained a mortgage in 2007 and who has obtained another in 2013, there’s no such thing as “take my word for it”. Today, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING out of the ordinary has to be documented, verified and then certified. The process is very detailed and nothing is left to chance but with motivated borrowers, and the right mortgage lender the process can be smooth.

Imagine however if English isn’t your primary language. If you are one of the 61% of the nearly 19 million foreign born Hispanics who according to Pew Research Hispanic Center are unable to read English at all or nearly at all, completing a mortgage application in English may be as likely as successfully performing brain surgery with  a pair of needed nosed pliers and a plunger.

Nothing made that more apparent to me than today when a client  born in Honduras could not get bank statements to download from her Bank of America online banking service. Because she was using the Spanish language version, the option to download a bank statement simply was not there, or else it was so well hidden that it may as well have not been there at all. Try as we did, neither of us could find this option. That is, until we changed the language pack from Spanish back to English. Once this was done, the “Download Statements” was prominently displayed in the middle of the screen.

You can’t download bank statements from the Spanish language version of Bank of America online banking. Evidently the web designers at Bank of America must think Latinos have not need for bank statements.  Don’t confuse this with printing a transaction history which is quite simple but those print in Spanish instead of English. And the problem with Spanish language bank documents is that I don’t know of a single mortgage lender in America who for the purpose of underwriting a loan will accept Spanish language documents.

The short solution; change the language version to English and you can download all the statements you like for free on demand!

 Ricardo Cobos is a licensed mortgage loan officer  in Raleigh-Cary-Durham North Carolina who has been helping families achieve financial security through responsible home-ownership since 1998. (919) 526-0183