Sanwa Bank is targeting a new audience for home mortgages-the hearing- impaired.
The California bank will approach the market through seminars that feature sign-language interpreters and other tailored services.
"Whatever the population group, we want to communicate the details of our program to them," said Gene Galloway, executive vice president of retail and community banking at the Los Angeles bank. "This is another marketing tool to accomplish that."
The goal is to let hearing-impaired consumers know that they have the same opportunities for homeownership as other borrowers, Mr. Galloway said.
Indeed, Sanwa's offer to the hearing-impaired parallels the one it makes to most first-time homebuyers. The program is also designed along the lines of efforts aimed at new immigrants, a Sanwa spokesman said.
Under the homebuyer program, borrowers pay no points and $350 in closing costs. Also, Sanwa does not require a previous credit history and will not impose income requirements.
In addition to discussing Sanwa's programs, speakers at an upcoming conference for the hearing-impaired will discuss the home buying and mortgage lending processes and programs that are available through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Mr. Galloway said.