First settlement agreement under HUD equal access rule
At last year’s National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced new housing protections for LGBT people and their families. Less than a year later we’re seeing the rule put into effect for the community. Earlier today HUD announced a settlement with Bank of America in a claim of discrimination against a lesbian couple in Florida. HUD found that the bank’s loan department discriminated against the couple based on sexual orientation and marital status when it denied them a loan just one day before they were set to close on the home they were purchasing together.
Under the terms of the agreement Bank of America will pay a fine, make its employees working on home mortgage lending aware of the HUD rule protecting LGBT people and their families and update the company’s training program to be inclusive of the new rule.
Unfortunately we can’t stop every instance of discrimination but the new HUD rule is a powerful tool to both deter discriminatory practices and force lenders to change course when they misbehave.