DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

On February 27, 2012 the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charged Bank of America (BOA) with discriminating against disabled homebuyers. The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in the terms and conditions of a loan to an individual based on a disability, including imposing different application or qualification criteria, and also makes it illegal to inquire about the nature or severity of a disability except in limited circumstances.

“Holding homebuyers with disabilities to a higher standard just because they rely on disability payments as a source of income is against the law,” said John TrasviƱa, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Mortgage companies may verify income and have eligibility standards but they may not single out homebuyers with disabilities to delay or deny financing when they are otherwise eligible.”

Apparently BOA required certain applicants to provide personal medical information and documentation regarding their disability and proof of continuance of their Social Security payment in order to qualify for a home mortgage loan. The matter has been turned over to the Department of Justice.

How confident are you that applicants relying on disability payments to qualify for a loan would be handled appropriately in your bank?

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