Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasviña

    With your help, we will put a stop to maternity leave discrimination

    Posted September 10th, 2012 by

    Last week, we announced a $20,000 settlement, the latest in a series of important HUD enforcement actions across the country to address denials of home loans to women because they are pregnant or on maternity leave.  We are able to aggressively pursue this type of discrimination because of the help and engagement of MomsRising and all of its members.

    The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.  Refusing to approve a mortgage loan or provide refinancing because a woman is pregnant or on maternity leave violates the Fair Housing Act’s prohibitions against sex and familial status discrimination.

    The couple in this case reported they applied for the mortgage with Land Home Financial Services (LHFS) and received a loan pre-approval letter.  However, after the wife gave birth, LHFS required her to return to work and earn a full two-week paycheck by the time escrow closed on the loan.  Consequently, in order to obtain the loan, she terminated her maternity leave early and returned to work just 19 days after the birth of her child.

    Under the terms of the Conciliation Agreement, LHFS will pay the couple $20,000.  LHFS will also ensure that its underwriting polices conform to Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) guidelines with regard to treatment of maternity and pregnancy leave income.

    HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity has successfully resolved a number of important maternity leave cases in recent years.    MomsRising has been instrumental in getting word out to parents around the country who have faced different treatment when seeking a loan and often did not realize the treatment they received could be a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

    When one mother steps forward, we are able to protect her and her family’s rights as well as other borrowers at the lending institution into the future.  And with each case that is publicized, more people learn about the law and discrimination is prevented.   Thanks to you and everyone at MomsRising, we are doing more than ever before and, with your help, we will put a stop to maternity leave discrimination.

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    6 Comments

    September 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm by Elisa

    Way to go HUD! Glad to see you proactively take on discrimination against mothers and families.

    [Reply]

    September 11, 2012 at 11:48 am by GloPan

    Wow – I can’t believe families have to face this kind of discrimination, especially when they are going through such as stressful (though joyful) time of pregnancy AND setting up a home. Thank you, HUD, for looking out for women who are pregnant or just had a baby.

    [Reply]

    September 10, 2012 at 11:09 pm by Tmama

    I can’t believe this issue is just NOW being addressed. 2 years ago, I was 7 months pregnant when my husband and I bought our house and was told by USAA, who was giving us our loan, that I had to supply at least 2 months of paychecks to qualify for the loan and the paid sick time I was using during my maternity leave would not count. My husband and I were rushed into purchasing our home before I gave birth (fortunately I love our house and have no regrets…but it was very stresful due to this limitation) otherwise we were going to have to wait until after I returned from maternity leave and show a few months of paychecks which would jave put us off another 6 months. Thank you for finally addressing this issue!

    [Reply]

    September 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm by Ruth

    THANK YOU, HUD!

    [Reply]

    September 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm by Mary

    The work of HUD’s Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity office’s work on behalf of mothers is inspiring and deeply appreciated. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    September 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm by Anita

    Thank you so much for your powerful advocacy!

    [Reply]

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