Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
When trying to buy a house, the financial commitment can be stressful. Even if you have good credit, finding the right lender and getting the rate you deserve can be a huge project – but under no circumstances should your race, religion, or other factors become extra obstacles to your search.
Mortgage discrimination in housing affects millions of people, many of whom might think that their case is too minor or that it’s “just the way things are.” The Law Office of Andrew Shubin’s attorney for victims of mortgage discrimination fights to help families and individuals who have faced increased mortgage rates, been denied mortgages, or were subjected to other instances of discrimination or mistreatment because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, or disability. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.
Who is Protected from Mortgage Discrimination in the U.S.?
Mortgage discrimination laws, like other discrimination laws, name particular “classes” that are protected from mortgage discrimination under those laws. The Fair Housing Act, which consists of Title VIII and IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, protects people from discrimination in mortgages based on any of the following factors:
- National origin
- Family/marital status
For example, if you are denied a loan because you are black or Muslim, the Fair Housing Act’s protections should apply. Some features and classes are ultimately protected under these classes, even if they are not explicitly listed on this list. For instance, although religion is a protected class, that would also imply that people who are areligious or atheist would also be protected from discrimination on that basis. Similarly, with sex and marital status both as illegal categories for discrimination, it should also be illegal to discriminate against a gay couple because they are married or because they are both the same sex.
Many of these specific issues have not been tested in court, but our attorneys will fight to protect you from discrimination and help you seek justice any way we can if you were a victim of mortgage discrimination. In addition, although federal protections against housing discrimination and mortgage discrimination are limited to the classes listed above, many state laws explicitly extend protections to additional categories, such as discrimination based on sexual orientation, pregnancy, or other factors that the Fair Housing Act does not cover.
What Qualifies as Mortgage Discrimination?
Mortgage discrimination is a subcategory of housing discrimination. Housing discrimination is very broad and includes things like refusing to rent or sell to someone, denying that a unit or house is for sale or rent, or changing the terms of a sale or rental because of a protected trait. Mortgage discrimination specifically deals with discrimination in the process of applying for and receiving a mortgage, but that process has many steps and many ways that illegal discrimination can seep in.
When you want a mortgage, the first step is to find a bank or mortgage broker who can get you a mortgage. Discrimination may occur at the very outset of the process, with lenders telling you that you will not qualify, treating you differently because of expectations or assumptions about you based on your appearance, or refusing to honor advertised rates or opportunities because of what you look like.
When things progress to the next step and an individual or a couple sits down with the mortgage lender to get the details worked out, they will perform credit checks and discuss mortgage rates, total loan amounts, and other details. Some instances of discrimination are as obvious and as repugnant as automatically giving worse loan rates or options to people of color. Other instances of mortgage discrimination are more subtle, and it might be harder to detect.
Ultimately, there needs to be some conduct that the lender changed or an opportunity or option that they denied you based on a protected class. This includes refusing to lend to you, changing the rate, using different terms and conditions, appraising a building at a lower value, requesting additional payments and security, or otherwise treating you different because of your race, religion, national origin, or other features.
Filing a Lawsuit for Mortgage Discrimination
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is responsible for overseeing and enforcing the Fair Housing Act. As such, HUD handles many claims of discrimination and wrongful treatment in housing. Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has some tools to help victims of bad practices in banking and lending. However, your best chance at seeking justice and compensation for the discrimination you faced might come from the courts.
A lawsuit can help you seek direct compensation for the wrongs you suffered, whereas filing claims with government agencies might not always get you the help you need. Our attorneys can help you determine the best way to file a claim and fight to get the compensation you need for wrongful treatment or discrimination in applying for a mortgage.
Call Our Attorneys for Mortgage Lending Discrimination for a Free Case Consultation
If you were denied a loan or your mortgage was subject to different terms and conditions because of the color of your skin, your race, your national origin, your religion, or some other protected feature, contact our attorneys today. The Law Office of Andrew Shubin’s mortgage discrimination lawyer represents individuals and families seeking justice for housing and mortgage discrimination. For a free legal consultation on your case, call us today at (814) 826-3586.