HOME LENDING DISCRIMINATION
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, lending, insurance, and advertising of housing on the basis of:
Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, it’s also illegal to discriminate on the basis of: Marital Status · Age · Receipt of Public Assistance · Good Faith Exercise of Consumer Credit Protection Act Rights
Additional bases under Florida’s fair housing laws: HIV Status · Pregnancy
More bases under Miami-Dade County’s fair housing law:
Protection bases under Broward County’s fair housing law:
There may be further protections under your city’s laws.
This means that it’s illegal to discriminate against people for the bases above in home loan transaction. Such transactions include home mortgage (purchase) loans, refinancing, loan modifications (to fight foreclosures), home building/repair loans, home equity loans or reverse mortgages.
PROHIBITED HOME LOAN ACTIONS
It’s illegal for a lender to use any of the bases above as a reason for:
- Refusing to provide any of the following home loans – home mortgages, refinancing, loan modifications, home building or repair loans, home equity loans or reverse mortgages.
- Having different requirements for credit scores, debt-to-income ratios or other standards apply to equally qualified borrowers.
- It’s also illegal for lenders to provide the following kinds of unfavorable terms and conditions for loans based on protected bases:
OTHER PROHIBITED ACTIONS
- Unnecessary closing costs.
- Excessive appraisal fees.
- Excessive broker fees.
- Excessive lender fees.
- Unnecessary recording fees.
- Prepayment fees that are unreasonably high.
- Altering the terms of the loan at closing without the borrower’s approval.
WHAT ELSE IS PROHIBITED?
- Not maintaining foreclosed homes well in areas in which members of a protected group mostly live, but maintain foreclosed homes properly in other areas.
- Charging fees for loan modifications before any services are provided by lender.
- Refusing to provide loans because of the racial or ethnic makeup of the area.
- Steering a person to a more expensive loan product or a loan with higher interest rates or more points because of the person’s protected basis.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE DISCRIMINATION
Housing discrimination is rarely blatant. It is usually cleverly disguised, and is more often than not delivered with a handshake and a smile. Listen for these phrases below, as they may be warning signs of discrimination:
- “We’d like to make this loan, but we need at least a 20% down payment.”
- “You haven’t been at your job long enough to qualify for a mortgage loan.”(2 years required for FHA, but other loans may have some flexibility)
REPORTING HOME LOAN DISCRIMINATION
If you feel that you have been discriminated against, we strongly encourage you to take the following steps:
- Keep a record of any meetings and phone calls with the lender and write down what happened, and what was said.
- Include specific information such as names, titles, meeting places, dates, and times.
- Save receipts, applications, business cards, leases, and any other documents obtained during the process or transaction.
CALL THE FOLLOWING FOR HELP TODAY!
HOPE, Inc.: 305-651-HOPE (4673) in Miami-Dade County, 954-567-0545 in Broward County. TDD/TTY Callers 711 or 1-800-955-8771
Department of Housing and Urban Development: 800-440-8091
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): (855) 411-CFPB (2372)/ TTY/TDD (855) 729-CFPB (2372)
Florida Commission on Human Relations: 800-342-8170