December 4, 2021

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HUD Announces Settlement In Wells Fargo Housing Discrimination Case

FHA/HUD

The Department of Housing And Urban Development has announced a settlement in a housing discrimination case involving Wells Fargo.

According to a press release on the HUD official site, Wells Fargo allegedly denied a mortgage loan intended to be used on a group home for persons with disabilities. While this specific case doesn’t seem relevant in the context of an individual applying for a home loan, any form of discrimination in the housing process weakens that process for all borrowers.

The HUD official site reports that HUD has approved what is called a Conciliation Agreement between Wells Fargo Bank and a customer named in the complaint. The agreement resolves that customer’s claim that Wells Fargo denied a loan application after learning the loan was intended for the group home for persons with disabilities mentioned above.

“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, who was quoted in the press release.

Worden adds that the agency remains “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.”

Fair Housing laws make it illegal to make housing “unavailable or to discriminate” in terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale of a dwelling because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status.

Under the Fair Housing act, anyone “whose business includes residential real estate-related transactions” who discriminate against any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction has violated federal law.

HUD has announced that Wells Fargo Bank agrees to pay $125,000 to the victim of the discrimination and “provide fair housing training for its employees, including home mortgage consultants, managers and underwriters.” Wells Fargo Bank is also charged with making sure its policies do not violate the Fair Housing Act.

Have you experienced discrimination at any stage in the housing process? File a complaint with the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay).

Housing discrimination complaints can be filed online at hud.gov/fair housing.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

March 19, 2021

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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