On April 19, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it had entered an agreement with a group of California mortgage lenders to resolve allegations that they discriminated against a mortgage applicant. That consumer had filed a complaint with HUD in October 2016, alleging that the lenders failed to prequalify him for a mortgage loan on the basis of his national origin, in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
In the agreement, the lenders denied all allegations and any violation of law, but acknowledged that they have a duty not to discriminate under the FHA. One lender agreed to pay the consumer $5,000 to resolve the allegations. The lenders also agreed to train employees annually on fair housing and the FHA, and to send a copy of their fair housing training to HUD for review. The lenders also agreed to comply with all state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination. In the event that HUD has reason to believe that the lenders have breached the agreement, HUD represented that it would refer the matter to the Attorney General of the United States to commence a civil action.