Discriminatory Mortgage Lending Practices
When unfair mortgage lending practices are targeted at individuals based on their race or national origin--especially linguistic minorities, whose ability to speak English is limited--they violate the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it unlawful to discriminate in mortgage lending transactions, including home improvement loans, and other residential loan transactions, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. This discrimination may take the form of denying mortgage loans, or offering higher cost loans, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status and disability.
In addition to the categories protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act, Massachusetts also prohibits discrimination in mortgage lending on the basis of sexual orientation, age, ancestry and genetic information.
Another federal law, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, age, or because an applicant receives income from a public assistance program, or exercises rights protected under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.