The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has reached settlement agreements with Magna Bank in Nashville, Tenn., and Home Loan Center Inc. in Irvine, Calif., resolving allegations that the two lenders denied mortgage loans to women because they were pregnant and temporarily on maternity leave.
The settlement agreement signed by Magna Bank requires the bank to pay one woman $14,085 for allegedly requiring her to return to work before her loan application could be approved. In another settlement agreement, Home Loan Center agreed to pay a Las Vegas woman $15,000 for denying her application to refinance her mortgage because she was on maternity leave.
‘It is against the law for any lender to deny a mortgage loan to a woman because she is pregnant or on paid maternity leave,’ says John Trasvina, HUD's assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity. ‘Women shouldn't have to choose between buying or refinancing a home and exercising their right to have a family. HUD will take appropriate action anytime we determine that discrimination has occurred.’