New American Funding

Company: New American Funding
Diversity Team Name: Latino Focus
Diversity Team Leader(s): Patty Arvielo & Frank Fuentes

What Makes this Diversity Team Stand Out

Throughout its history, New American Funding has led by example, with equality, diversity, and inclusion as its core pillars in hiring and mortgage lending. The company represents one of the most successful Latina-owned businesses in America. Cofounder and President Patty Arvielo, a first-generation Hispanic, knows the unique challenges her community faces when buying a home, including language barriers and financial literacy.

In 2013, Arvielo formed the company’s Latino Focus Committee to support this underserved community in realizing their dreams of homeownership. The Committee, which is spearheaded by Frank Fuentes (VP of Multicultural Community Lending) and includes Tania Murray (Chair), Miguel Mouriz (Co-Chair), and Jose Plascencia (Co-Chair), uses education and awareness to enhance the quality of the lending experience for Hispanic consumers, aiming to lift up the community and build generational wealth through homeownership.

Through this initiative, the company has been able to connect with Hispanics by means of several core outreach efforts. These include Spanish-language YouTube ads, virtual events from local branches, and a full range of customized educational materials to aid Hispanics in their homebuying experience.

This outreach begins from within—23 percent of the company’s workforce is Hispanic. With a focus on hiring bilingual employees, the company also has multiple branches in four of the five main Hispanic markets within the United States, and is committed to lending $25 billion in new mortgages to Hispanic borrowers by 2024.

Through Latino Focus, New American Funding has been able to increase sustainable Hispanic homeownership across America. Today, the lender is one of the largest privately held retail lenders to Hispanic borrowers. In fact, 18 percent of New American Funding’s 2020 home-purchase loan volume was to Hispanic borrowers, compared to 11.9 percent for the industry. Also, its percentage of purchase lending to Hispanics was 51 percent more than the industry’s overall percentage (based on 2020 HDMA data from ComplianceTech’s Lending Patterns HDMA software).

Along with Patty Arvielo, Frank Fuentes, the company’s vice president of multicultural community lending, spearheads the Latino Focus effort. Fuentes, the first Hispanic/bilingual loan officer hired at New American Funding, has devoted more than 20 years to improving lending efforts to minority home buyers. In April, he became an Advisory Council member for the American Mortgage Diversity Council.

Frank has hosted virtual chats with branch representatives and senior leadership to address issues pertaining to Hispanic home buyers and has cohosted virtual webinars with organizations, such as the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Freddie Mac, and the American Mortgage Diversity Council. Frank recently took part in Honest Conversations, a Housing- Wire podcast, discussing the Latino Focus initiative and increasing homeownership across all sectors.

Latino Focus has been the driving force behind numerous diversity and inclusion awards and honors, including:

  • Profiles in Diversity Journal Latino Leaders Worth Watching–Patty Arvielo (2021)
  • ALPFA Most Powerful Latina Award–Patty Arvielo (2020)
  • Latino Leaders Magazine Top 100 Most Influential Latinas–Patty Arvielo (2020)
  • Profiles in Diversity Journal Diversity Leader (2021)
  • Most honorees (45) among the 2020 NAHREP Top 250 Latino Mortgage Originators