The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved a Conciliation Agreement between Wells Fargo Bank and a customer, resolving the customer’s claim that the mortgage lender denied her loan after learning it was for a group home for persons with disabilities.
“Group homes for persons with disabilities are homes, just like any other, and mortgages may not be denied because individuals with disabilities will be living there,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD is committed to enforcing the Fair Housing Act to ensure that mortgage lenders comply with the nation’s fair housing laws and do not use discriminatory business practices.”
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to make housing unavailable or to discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale of a dwelling because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status.
The Act also makes it unlawful for any person or entity whose business includes residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction. Residential real estate-related transactions covered by the Act include mortgage loans.
Under the Conciliation Agreement, Wells Fargo Bank will pay $125,000 to the woman and provide fair housing training for its employees, including home mortgage consultants, managers, and underwriters. It will also ensure that its policies do not violate the Fair Housing Act.
People who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to hud.gov/fairhousing.