Know Your Rights
According to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, "Discrimination in mortgage lending is prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act and HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity actively enforces those provisions of the law".
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to engage in the following practices based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap (disability):
- Refuse to make a mortgage loan
- Refuse to provide information regarding loans
- Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
- Discriminate in appraising property
- Refuse to purchase a loan or set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan
Filing A Complaint
Housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability is illegal by federal law. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, you can file a fair housing complaint.
If you have experienced any one of the above actions, you may be the victim of discrimination. Recognizing the signs of lending discrimination is the first step in filing a complaint. HUD investigates your complaints at no cost to you. If you believe you have experienced lending discrimination, visit the housing discrimination complaint website to learn more about the complaint process.
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
Enacted by Congress in 1975, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act legislates the reporting of loan data by lending institutions. This includes geographic distribution of loans and applications; ethnicity, race, sex, and income of applicants and borrowers; and information about loan approvals and denials.
This data is reported by the lending institutions on the first of March for loans and applications of the previous calendar year.
The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act
The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the bases of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (providing the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or part of the applicants income derives from any public assistance program; or, because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
Overview of Fair Housing Enforcement
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) is an agency within the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHEO is responsible for administering and enforcing federal fair housing laws and establishing policies that make sure all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice.
The mission of FHEO is to create equal housing opportunities for all persons living in America by administering laws that prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity has the responsibility for enforcing a variety of fair housing laws, which prohibit discrimination in both privately-owned and publicly assisted housing including:
The Fair Housing Act
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, 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 (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and handicap (disability)
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities Receiving federal financial assistance.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Section 109 of Title 1 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974
Section 109 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or religion in programs and activities receiving financial assistance from HUD's Community Development and Block Grant Program.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Title II prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. HUD enforces Title II when it relates to state and local public housing, housing assistance and housing referrals.
Architectural Barriers Act of 1968
The Architectural Barriers Act requires that buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered, or leased with certain federal funds after September 1969 must be accessible to and usable by handicapped persons.
Age Discrimination Act of 1975
The Age Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.