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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

HUD announces $15,000 payment for FHA violations

Federal Issues HUD Enforcement Fair Lending Discrimination Fair Housing Act

Federal Issues

On April 19, HUD announced a conciliation agreement with a national bank and one if its loan officers to resolve allegations that respondents violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by denying a mortgage loan to a couple until after one of the applicants returned to work from maternity leave. Under the FHA, it is unlawful to discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges associated with the sale of a dwelling on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status, including denying a mortgage loan because an applicant is on maternity leave. In addition to requiring a $15,000 payment be made to the couple, the bank must “adhere to a policy wherein applicants on temporary leave, including parental leave, can be approved for a mortgage prior to returning to active work status,” and provide fair lending training to employees. The conciliation agreement does not constitute an admission by respondents or evidence of a finding by HUD of a violation of the FHA.

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