Industry practices constitute barriers to homeownership for Hispanics, according to a study based on an 11-city focus group and released by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.Fellows from the CHCI's National Housing Initiative told a news conference that the industry should reform the way "frontline" mortgage sales agents are compensated by increasing monetary incentives for serving consumers who need more tailored assistance. They also recommended more-flexible underwriting and credit scoring standards. Ron Jauregui, one of the three NHI fellows, said the message to the mortgage industry is that corporate messages and innovative product development "must be consistent" with what happens on the front line. "Without a sincere understanding of the Hispanic consumers' experience and the trust factor that exists within it, neither the message nor the product will resonate," he said. The institute can be found online at http://www.chci.org.

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