Lending

 

FAIR HOUSING AND LENDING

Anyone in the business of providing housing-related loans is subject to the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.  The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in loans that are secured by residential real estate or that are for the purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining of a dwelling. This includes mortgages, refinancing, home equity, and home improvement loans. 

 

WHO IS PROTECTED IN LENDING BY THE FAIR HOUSING ACT:

A bank may not deny a loan or other financial assistance because of the protected class of the:

  • Loan applicant or person associated with the loan applicant

  • Any current or prospective owner of the dwelling

  • Any lessees; or

  • Any tenants or occupants

WHAT DOES DISCRIMINATION IN LENDING LOOK LIKE?

  • Denying a mortgage or charging a higher interest rate because the property is located in a majority-minority neighborhood

  • Refusing you credit if you qualify for it

  • Treating mortgage applicants differently depending on their race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), familial status, national origin, or disability

  • Refusing to consider a mortgage applicant’s disability-related income, such as SSI or SSDI

  • Offering you credit on terms that are less favorable, like a higher interest rate, than terms offered to someone with similar qualifications

  • Targeting a minority community for fraudulent home loan modification assistance

  • Refusing to provide mortgages to a person on parental leave

  • Targeting homeowners with deceptive advertisements and predatory schemes because of their national origin and limited English proficiency

  • Asking if you’re widowed or divorced. A creditor may use only the terms: married, unmarried, or separated.

  • Steering people to certain loan products based on their race and the racial or ethnic make-up of the neighborhood.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:

  • Get credit without a cosigner, if you meet the creditor’s standards.

  • Have a cosigner other than your spouse, if one is necessary.

  • Keep your own accounts after you change your name, and marital status, reach a certain age, or retire unless the creditor has evidence that you’re not willing or able to pay.

  • Know whether your application was accepted or rejected within 30 days of filing a complete application.

  • Know why your application was rejected. The creditor must tell you the specific reason for the rejection or that you are entitled to learn the reason if you ask within 60 days. An acceptable reason must be specific.

  • Know the specific reason you were offered less favorable terms than you applied for, but only if you reject these terms. 

  • Find out why your account was closed or why the terms of the account were made less favorable unless the account was inactive or you failed to make payments as agreed.

If you think you have been the victim of discrimination in lending, please contact us for assistance.

 Go back to Information Page

RESOURCES

 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) RESOURCES