October 28, 2020

Bucks: How to File a Mortgage Bias Complaint

Last year, I wrote about how mortgage lenders were making it difficult for new parents to qualify for loans while they were home taking care of their babies. After the housing crisis, lenders began taking a closer look at these prospective borrowers whose income had temporarily fallen, even if they planned to return to work within a few weeks.

The news prompted the Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate several lenders that might have discriminated against potential borrowers on the basis of their familial status, which would be in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

On Wednesday, HUD will announce that Cornerstone Mortgage, a Houston lender, has agreed to set aside $750,000 to compensate any women who may have been affected, while paying at least one woman $15,000. Cornerstone denied the accusations and maintained that all of its actions had been “legally and prudentially sound.” If no other women file claims, the money will be returned to Cornerstone.

But the department is also investigating nearly a dozen other cases at other lenders, and said it believed that other women might come forward.

As long as borrowers can prove that they are planning to return to work and that their regular income will qualify them for the mortgage, short-term leave should not be an issue. So if you think you may been discriminated against by Cornerstone or any other lenders, call HUD’s discrimination hotline at 1-800–669-9777. Or, you can file a complaint through its Web site.

Do you know of anyone who was denied a mortgage because their income temporarily fell?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=b9f1b3aa80f31e45966a2b69a274bcd0

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