Bank of America has settled a fair housing complaint with the federal government over the allegation of refusing mortgages and home loans for adults with legal guardians.
The period covered by the agreement with the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York was between January 2010 and February 2016 for mortgage loan applicants and between January 2010 and May 2017 for home loan applicants. All applicants involved were adults under legal guardianship or conservatory.
After the major recession, BofA introduced a policy that restricted loans to guardians due to potential exploitation, a bank spokesman said. This policy ended in 2016 before the federal investigation began.
"Bank of America can look back on an excellent track record of helping clients and employees with disabilities, including being recognized with a top grade in the Disability Equality Index for four years," said the spokesman. "Due to concerns about potential exploitation, the bank limited mortgage loans to legal guardians for a period of time.
"We updated our guidelines more than three years ago to expand access to such loans. Our Disability Advisory Board is working to consistently improve and develop our strategy for employees, customers and communities."
According to the settlement agreement, "Bank of America claims that it granted unlimited mortgage loans to persons with disabilities and disabilities, including some adult applicants who had legal guardians or conservatories, during the period in question."
Under the terms of the agreement, BofA will pay each applicant $ 4,000. The spokesman said 75 people were covered by the agreement, for a total of $ 300,000.
BofA cooperated with the investigation and agreed to settle the matter without litigation, EDNY press release said. The bank has not accepted any liability, misconduct or non-compliance with the provisions of fair housing and expressly refused to act.
In addition, the agreement itself stated that "it is a compromise between controversial claims. The United States recognizes the significant cooperation of Bank of America during its investigation into the matters dealt with in the agreement."
The comparison provides that BofA maintains the non-discriminatory underwriting policy for loans and trains its employees in them. Monitor credit processing and underwriting activities to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act; and report to the government every six months for a period of two years on compliance, the EDNY press release said.
"No one in this free country should be denied access to the American dream because of a disability alone. The inalienable right to seek happiness extends to everyone, including people with disabilities, and buying a home is one way, like many People exercise this right. "Deputy Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said in the June 23 press release.
"The Fair Housing Act prohibits banks from denying mortgage and other housing-related loans due to their disability, and this department will hold accountable lenders who engage in such illegal behavior. Today's regulation provides victims of unlawful discrimination compensation and requires Bank of America to apply non-discriminatory policies to determine which applicants receive credit. "