Bank to pay $7,500 for denying loan to lesbians

The case against Bank of America was the first of its type since the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued new anti-discrimination rules.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Jan 4, 2013 1:14PM

© Cultura/CorbisBank of America has agreed to pay $7,500 to settle allegations that it refused to grant a loan to a lesbian couple because of their marital status and sexual orientation.

The case is the first of its type since the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a new rule requiring equal access to housing in HUD programs regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. That rule says lenders cannot base decisions about loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.


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"The HUD Equal Access Rule means just what it says: One’s sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status is not a legitimate basis on which to deny a mortgage," John Trasviña, HUD’s assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said in a news release. "Members of the housing industry should take note of this settlement agreement. HUD will enforce its regulations to make sure its programs are truly open to all qualified families."   


The rule also applies to all other housing program administered by HUD.

It’s not unusual for unmarried couples -- or other people who are unrelated, such as business partners -- to seek a mortgage together.

In this case, two women, who were not identified in the HUD press release, were seeking to buy a home together in South Daytona Beach, Fla., using an FHA-backed mortgage. Because one did not have a job, her mother agreed to be a co-signer.


Everything went fine until one business day before the closing, HUD said, when "BOA denied the mortgage because it did not consider the loan applicant and the co-applicant directly related because the applicant and her partner were not married."

Bank of America agreed to pay HUD $7,500, update its training programs and remind its employees they are prohibited from discriminating against FHA loan applicants on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.


There was no immediate comment from Bank of America, but HUD praised the lender for "taking immediate corrective action after HUD notified BOA of the violation."


FHA mortgages are routinely granted to unmarried couples, though it’s important to make sure both people are legally protected. You can read more about FHA mortgages here.

Jan 4, 2013 4:26PM

I am an U.S. Combat Veteran, (OIF and a few others).  I am a Muslim.  i am a Republican member.  i have three kids. and a weapons owner.


i pay taxes, i have a fixer upper home in an affluent area in Souther California. i speak English, i am an American Citizen (Brooklyn, NY--1st Generation), my boys go to Private Catholic Schools. 


i am a man who loves women. Heterosexual. 

does anyone know anyone i can sue to get something for nothing?  perhaps, my feelings are hurt because i am unable to cope with homosexuals and i am unable to get any sort of compensation.  is there a handout i am entitled to because i am a butt-hurt straight man?


thats right, my morals are no longer the norm.  i have to be a gay or bi-sexual, tree hugging, Prius driving, liberal, anti war, 99%, 47% , nancy pelosi loving, organic flax eating douche to get anything. 

or i can be myself,  earn everything i have.  like i do now.


business owner, father, proud American


Build a bridge --morons-- and get over it...


i wonder if the percentage of the "thumbs down" will be to the "thumbs up"---hmmmmm 99%, it is just a hunch.the difference? i am not predictible.--go figure.  glad to be art of the 1%  not GLAAD but GLAD.(Just to be clear)


Jan 4, 2013 4:16PM

BOA does suck by all means! I got my $9.73 check in the mail yesterday from the settlement on their check clearing practices...WOW!


While BOA should NOT discriminate they do, does your marital status ( or lack there of) really matter when taking out a loan that one would other wise qualify for?


Gays should be a protected class just a respected human. thats it.

Jan 4, 2013 4:08PM
WTF is this? Gays are not a protected cass-
Lezbos win everyone else loses.
Jan 4, 2013 4:03PM
Notice that every other financial screwing story involves Bank Of America? It's not that hard to move your business to a smaller bank or a credit union. This bank thinks it is to big and powerful to have to follow the rules.
Jan 4, 2013 4:03PM
HUD is authorized to provide low-cost housing to families of men and women with LEGAL marriages. This was two people trying to take advantage by forcing morality. Them two should've been shown the street.
Jan 4, 2013 3:58PM
they shouldn't  pay jack BOA or not.  I am sure it had nothing to do with whether they were gay or not why they didn't get the loan. Here is another story to go 'Oh, poor gay people they are being bullied again!' now it is they can't get loans because of them being gay . Ten bucks says the problem was they didn't have the credit for the loan. My husband and I when we went to get a loan in 2007 before the housing crash had to pay someone to fix our credit it had to be almost perfect before they would consider it, we had to put 10,000 down to get into our home and we are a hedro sexual couple both with jobs at the time. So, it is noted I have no hate or care when it comes to a persons age, sexual orientation, color, or anything else. I just think this story like so many in the mainstream are bunk!
Jan 4, 2013 3:47PM
What does the picture of two women sitting on a green couch with coffee mugs talking have anything to do with this story?
Jan 4, 2013 3:39PM

Sounds like HUD is part of the problem too - $7500 isn't even a round on the golf course for the BofA C-suite.

If the couple had been black or other minority, that amount would have had 1 or 2 zeros after it.

BofA sucks anyway. Wake up people - why are you borrowing/giving money to the biggest offender in the mortgage crisis? Put your savings in a credit union - they work for you, not the stockholders.


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