Authored By: Florida Legal Services, Inc.
What is the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act prohibits mortgage lenders from considering your:
- National origin
- Sex / Gender
Familial status (pregnant or with children under age 18) in all aspects of residential mortgage lending. Fair lending guarantees the same lending opportunities to everyone.
The Federal Fair Housing Act protects your fair lending rights. HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity enforces the federal Fair Housing Act. State and local human rights agencies enforce substantially equivalent fair housing laws. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited in some local jurisdictions, including Orange County and Orlando.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, and public assistance status.
Who can commit lending discrimination?
- Real Estate Agent
- Mortgage broker
- Loan servicer
- Title company
What are some examples of lending discrimination?
- Refusing to provide information on mortgage loans to a borrower, because of the person’s race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status or disability.
- Offering different terms on a mortgage loan, such as offering borrowers of different races who have equal qualifications different interest rates, down payments, points, or fees.
- Requiring that equally qualified borrowers meet different conditions in order to obtain a mortgage loan, such as different credit scores, debt-to-income ratios or income verifications.
- Steering an applicant towards a bad mortgage loan product because of their protected class.
- Providing inferior servicing of a mortgage loan, such as not reporting timely payments.
- Treating a borrower differently when the borrower is in default, by refusing to modify a loan, or by foreclosing on a loan because of the person’s protected class.
- Treating bank-owned properties in minority areas differently than those in nonminority areas.
- Using different standards for pooling or packaging a loan in the secondary market.
- “Redlining,” or refusing to provide credit to an area because of the racial makeup of the area.
What should I do if I experience lending discrimination?
Keep a written record of all attempted and actual contacts and conversations with the lender, real estate agent, mortgage broker, appraiser, loan servicer or title company.
Keep all documents, including loan applications, letters of denial and other materials related to the discriminations.
Who should I contact?
You can contact:
- Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida 407-841-7777 x2106 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Florida Commission on Human Relations 800-342-8170 Email: email@example.com www.fchr.state.fl.us
- HUD’s Fair Housing Enforcement Center 800-440-8091 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hud.gov/offices/fheo
Filing a complaint does not affect your current mortgage loan. Report Fair Lending Violators!
Updated: April 19, 2017