Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today an agreement with Bank of America to settle an LGBT discrimination claim that the mortgage lender refused financing to a lesbian couple.

The agreement is the first implementation of HUD’s Equal Access rule, which prohibits lenders from basing eligibility for mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration on actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

As part of our Blueprint for Positive Change, HRC urged HUD to take action to prevent discrimination against LGBT people and their families in federal housing programs.

HUD claimed BOA denied a loan to a Florida couple because of their sexual orientation and marital status, after the applicant listed her partner’s mother as a co-applicant on the loan. BOA did not consider the loan applicant and the co-applicant directly related because the applicant and her partner were not married and thus denied their loan.

According to the terms of the agreement, BOA will pay $7,500 to HUD, notify residential mortgage loan originators, processors and underwriters of the settlement and remind its employees of the Equal Access rule.

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