Maternity Leave and Mortgage Discrimination

keep-calm-when-on-maternity-leaveIn June 2011 we shared with you HUD’s press release on their landmark actions concerning maternity leave and mortgage denials or delays. That press release included the Dr. Elizabeth Budde case, which is considered to be the impetus for the flurry of maternity leave/mortgage settlements now occurring across the nation.

According to the HUDdle, Dr. Budde, a Seattle-area oncologist, had been approved for a mortgage, but the lender reportedly revoked its loan approval after learning that she was on maternity leave. Even though Dr. Budde was receiving full pay and benefits while she cared for her baby, the lender said it could not consider her income because she wasn’t working.

Since the original Dr. Budde case, HUD has filed and settled numerous complaints challenging mortgage lenders for denying or delaying loans to woman who were pregnant. Below are links to seven of such cases, with total settlements now at over $167,000 (which does not include victim funds that that may have been set up – currently over $800,000).

  1. HUD SETTLES DISCRIMINATION CLAIM AGAINST CALIFORNIA MORTGAGE LENDER ALLEGING IT DENIED LOANS TO WOMEN ON MATERNITY LEAVE, 7/1/2014
  2. HUD ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH UTAH-BASED CREDIT UNION ENSURING BORROWERS NOT DENIED MORTGAGES DUE TO MATERNITY LEAVE, 6/25/2014
  3. HUD ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH BANK OF AMERICA RESOLVING ALLEGATIONS OF LENDING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN ON MATERNITY LEAVE, 11/4/2013
  4. MORTGAGE INSURANCE COMPANY PAYS $30,000 TO SETTLE MATERNITY LEAVE DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS, 9/30/2013
  5. HUD AND SUNTRUST BANK SETTLE MATERNITY LEAVE DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS, 5/8/2013
  6. HUD, PNC BANK SETTLE MATERNITY DISCRIMINATION CLAIM,2/6/2013
  7. HUD ANNOUNCES ‘MATERNITY DISCRIMINATION SETTLEMENTS,’ KICKS OFF FAIR HOUSING MONTH, 4/5/2012

Women applying for a mortgage loan, or refinancing a loan, can now fully exercise their fair housing rights when it comes to work and maternity leave issues. One example of this is that your mortgage terms cannot legally require the mother to “return to work” before a loan can be processed.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in lending based on sex or familial status, which means that consumers who are on, or plan to be on, maternity leave cannot have their mortgage loan delayed or denied if she can demonstrate that she intends to return to work and can otherwise continue to meet the income requirements to qualify for the loan.

If you think you or someone you know has been discriminated against because of pregnancy, maternity leave, or familial status, please contact the Fair Housing Center at 1-877-979-FAIR or file a complaint online.

 

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