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.

 
446Comments
Jun 8, 2013 2:04AM
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I am so sick of these people and their issues.  There is SO MUCH forcing themselves on everyone, that I am beginning to dislike them.  Never use to feel that way.  They sue everyone; banks, bakeries, etc. etc. etc.....  Does anyone know if MSN has become a gay web site?  Just wondering.... as it seems that is all they report as news these days, just stuff about coming out and angry gay people.  
Jun 8, 2013 12:46AM
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I am tired of having gay BS stuck in my face. Let them go off some place and be by them selves. What they do is their business but I don't have to approve it.
Jun 7, 2013 11:57PM
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Gay people DO discriminate, most are are racist, sexist, elitist snobs... they expect employers to pay them higher salaries despite the fact they have no children, which is why they all want to get married, so they can raid adoption agencies to construct a make believe "family" in order to have tax write-offs, all the while neglecting the childs need for a normal home.
Jan 5, 2013 10:02AM
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I like how one sees a couple of attractive females and then watch the video and one knows why they are lesbians.
Jan 5, 2013 9:58AM
Jan 5, 2013 6:24AM
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how do we know it wasn't them selves -to cry wolf.  If they want equal right's they should have to deal with it....how many ploys have we seen this .too many of these Gay/ Lesbians story which have been proven to be a lie......yeah their credit could have been the reason . but once again ,.. they knew that when they entered the premises. not everyone has to agree with their life style, and those who live among them ,  who have children , they have their right's being violated too...if they want respect , they need to give it.A mam & woman - who have their children in the apartment do they have to lie to their children to make the Lesbians neighbor at home , and lie to the children in the long run , what are we coming to -  it is okay for a little white lie...when will this end
Jan 5, 2013 6:17AM
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the 'couple' are an embarrassment to decency..

behavior is taught and learned.

behavior is a choice.

same-sexbehavior is by definition perverted and degenerate.

Jan 5, 2013 5:59AM
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Worse off are the BOA employees who will be scapegoated even tough they were probably only following BOA's own rules.

Now they also face re-education when BOA "updates" its training to assure they have the politicaly correct, tolerant opinion of homosexuals weher they would agree with that or not.

Jan 5, 2013 5:52AM
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Right-wing attitudes and beliefs are being hit hard. Trash Limbaugh and FOK The Losers are getting depressed.
Jan 5, 2013 5:39AM
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BOA clearly discriminated as non married people purchase homes together all the time.
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What the hell is wrong with society?

 

A business turns down a couple of individuals that clearly have mental problems and they are fined; wow.

Jan 5, 2013 4:51AM
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Did they get the loan? I know married couples fully emplyed making 6 figures and plumping down 40% on a $800k house that did not get a loan from BA.  They threatened to sue BA because they felt BA was discriminating against them because they were not white and miraculously they got the loan.  The banks are not giving out money period and are making all kinds of excuses, with my frinds it was that one was self-employed.

Jan 5, 2013 4:45AM
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SHe said its scary that someone has been watching us long enough to know our orientation.  Im sure it didnt take long.. People are not stupid.  They were probably seen opening a car door for one another, showing public display of affection, or maybe they could be heard through the wall when they were carpet munching each other , and ramming each other with dildos.   Its not hard to tell if a person is gay or not , at least for me.
Jan 5, 2013 4:37AM
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LGBT is like a child, indocrinated by mommy and daddy since birth they can 'be anything they want'.  This child decides he wants to be a bird, knows full well about gravity and it's effects but ignores it thinking 'i can be anything i want'.  He believes with every fiber of his being that he is a bird and that he can fly, so he goes to the family home rooftop and flaps his arms wildly and jumps off the roof, breaking his leg on the landing. 
Breaking his leg still does not sway this childs' stubborn mindset, he still thinks he is a bird, nothing will stop him from achieving his goal of being a bird.  He continues to jump off the roof, sometimes breaking his leg(s), other times injuring himself in other ways, and, the tragedy, he utterly refuses to believe or conform to reality.  He cannot be a bird no matter how much he believes in his heart that he is and continuing the viscous circle will only cause further damage to his body until he is dead.
Such is the folly of LGBT, enjoy your 'broken legs' people.

Jan 5, 2013 4:22AM
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My wife worked for 25 yrs in the mortgage world. She had to get out for her own sanity. She saw way to many applications that had been doctored up to just barely meet qualifying standards. To many bosses saying " See what you can do to make this work" when she knew damn well the applicants were in way over there heads. People dont like to be told no, or that they cant have what they want when they want it. Bosses like to make money and to some it dosent matter at whose expense.A lot of these customized mortgages of today that  meet any criteria will be the sob stories, foreclosures and law suits of tomorrow. 
Jan 5, 2013 3:57AM
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An Underwriter is required to list the reason for denial on the file.  If they listed the reason given above, then they were in violation.
If they were both occupant borrowers, then their relationship does not come into play...

It is only VA that would not allow 2 individuals to buy a home together unless they were married, or unless both had VA eligibilities and used both eligibilities to purchase the home.

B of A should have been fined (as it was), and now that has opened the door for the applicants to now sue B of A for discrimination and damages in civil court. 

I will be willing to bet attorneys are lining up to represent them on a contingency basis..
Jan 5, 2013 3:28AM
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Does anyone consider the fact that they could have been a credit risk and not eligible for a loan? Regardless of their sexual orientation.
Jan 5, 2013 3:28AM
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I would like to know more details about their finances, down payment, credit history, etc. That way, one could draw an intelligent conclusion as to whether the couple was credit worthy for the loan or not, and were not denied simply due to their creditworthiness. I suggest you look at the data to determine if married heterosexual couples are a lower risk than gay couples. Insurance companies and lenders look at risk among different groups of people; yes they do profile. It is their business to make money, not lend to / insure highrisk individuals and lose money. MSN doesn't report accurately. They pick and choose stories and emphasize the details they choose. This couple may have legitimately been wrongfully denied their loan, but I doubt that is the case. As a bank in the business of making oney, BofA does not care about sexual orientation of couples; they are much more interested in making money, which is their customers' ability to repay their loans. Will MSN report if/when this couple defaults on their loan?
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