by Brian Mahany
Bank of America settled federal charges that it violated the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The complaint was brought by HUD on behalf of disabled borrowers. Federal law forbids banks from discriminating against borrowers on the basis of disability. As long as you can afford your mortgage, bankers should not care about your disabilities or whether your money comes from social security disability payments. Unfortunately, Bank of America apparently threw up road blocks to people who claimed to be disabled.
I say “apparently” in the above paragraph because if approved by the court, BOA will be allowed to settle without admitting any wrongdoing. (The bank continues to say that its policies did not violate the law.)
The four named homeowners will each receive $125,000 under the settlement and other disabled borrowers are eligible to receive between $1000 and $5000. About 25,000 disabled borrowers are affected by the settlement. The bank also agreed to better train its loan officers.
We do not like broad, blanket settlements in which a lender is allowed to pay a few bucks and never admit any wrongdoing. If the bank didn’t do anything wrong, then let them have their day in court and allow a jury to decide. However, if the bank did break the law and discriminate against the disabled, they should be held fully accountable.
Suits against lenders are increasing at an alarming rate. Form robosigning to missing mortgage documents to blatant forgeries, the list of misdeeds doesn’t seem to end. Discriminating against the disabled just marks another low for Bank of America.
If you feel you were the victim of discrimination by a lender, give us a call. Discrimination can involve the original loan process, denial of HAMP mortgage modification and even foreclosure. Before you settle for $1000, see if you have claims against your lender.
The fraud lawyers at Mahany & Ertl have helped many homeowners with claims against large banks and mortgage companies. We presently have the largest federal false claims act case against a lender ($2.4 billion action against Allied Home Mortgage) as well as many smaller cases on behalf of individual homeowners. We are not a traditional foreclosure defense firm – our attorneys sue banks on your behalf for monetary damages.
Mahany & Ertl – Giving Homeowners A Voice. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine & Minneapolis, Minnesota.