Bank of America has been fined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the agency’s first enforcement action under anti-discriminatory rules that went into effect last year.
The financial institution will make an “administrative payment” to HUD for denying a mortgage to a couple based on their sexual orientation and marital status, according to Buzzfeed
BofA will make the $7,500 payment, as well as add information to its employee manual regarding the HUD’s Equal Access Rule and how to avoid violating it, as a result of the agency’s ruling.
The bank initially told the couple they could qualify for a government-backed loan with a woman and her partner’s mother signing for it.
The day before they were to close on the mortgage, the bank informed the couple it did not consider the two people signing for the mortgage to be directly related because the woman and her partner were not married.
"This agreement demonstrates that HUD will vigorously enforce its Equal Access rule and pursue lenders that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
By the same token, BofA should be commended for stepping up and taking immediate corrective action after HUD notified BofA of the violation," said Helen Kanovsky, HUD’s general counsel.
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