Bank to pay Minnesota man $12,000 and change its policy on Social Security payments
WASHINGTON, DC – January 23, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that Bloomington, Minnesota-based U.S. Bank National Association will pay $12,000 to a loan applicant with disabilities under a Conciliation Agreement settling allegations that the bank required him to provide unnecessary documentation to establish he would continue receiving disability income for three years before they would approve his mortgage loan.
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in the terms and conditions of a loan based on a person’s disability, including by imposing different loan application or qualification criteria.
“Holding persons with disabilities to a different standard because they rely on disability-related income violates the Fair Housing Act,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Reasonable income standards are a necessary part of the underwriting process but HUD will continue to take action when these practices are discriminatory.”
A Roseville, Minnesota man filed a complaint with HUD alleging U.S. Bank asked him to provide proof that his disability income, including Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI), would continue for three years. The applicant submitted documentation from the Social Security Administration as part of his mortgage application. Additional documentation was not needed because Social Security award letters without expiration dates establish continuity of income for three years.
Under the terms of the Conciliation Agreement, U.S. Bank agreed to pay the man $12,000, accept SSI award letters as establishing at least three years’ income, and refrain from requiring applicants receiving disability income to provide doctors’ statements concerning the nature, severity, or duration of a disability.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
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