Thursday, June 20, 2013

Woman On Maternity Leave Scores $13K Fair Housing Settlement For Allegedly Being Told By Lender That It Would Be Willing To Make A Home Loan To Her, But Only After She Returns To Work

From the Department of Housing & Urban Development (Washington, D.C.):

  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced [] that it has reached a Conciliation Agreement with Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. (PRMI), in Salt Lake City, UT, settling allegations that the lender denied a Baltimore, Maryland woman a mortgage loan because she was pregnant and on maternity leave.
  • Refusing to approve a mortgage loan or to provide refinancing because a woman is pregnant or on maternity leave violates the Fair Housing Act’s prohibitions against sex and familial status discrimination.
  • The woman, who applied for the loan in her name, and her husband filed a complaint with HUD alleging discrimination after one of PRMI’s loan officers told her that she was a “good risk” and that the lender would be willing to finance her loan, but only after she returned to work. After being unable to get a loan from PRMI, the woman and her husband applied for a loan with another lender and were approved.

    Under the terms of the agreement, PRMI will pay the woman $13,000 and adopt a parental leave policy with respect to loan applications to ensure compliance with the fair lending requirements of the Fair Housing Act. In addition, PRMI’s loan officers, processors, underwriters and decision makers will be trained on the Act and the new policy. The Parental Leave Policy applies to men as well as women who are on parental leave due to the birth or adoption of a child and prohibits inquiries concerning a person's future parental leave plans.
For the HUD press release, see HUD, Utah Mortgage Company Settle Pregnancy Discrimination Claim (Baltimore family denied approval based on maternity leave status).

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