HUD, U.S. Bank resolve lending discrimination allegations

Bank refused to refinance a property on a reservation

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reached an agreement with U.S. Bank National Association, U.S. Bank subsidiary Red Sky Risk Services, (formerly known as USB Lending Support Services) and one of U.S. Bank’s loan officers, resolving allegations that they refused to refinance the mortgage of an American Indian couple in Belcourt, North Dakota, because their property is located on a reservation.

Under the agreement, U.S. Bank agreed to pay the couple’s U.S. Bank credit card balance in the amount of $11,489.56, and to approve their application for a home mortgage refinance loan at the same interest rate and under other terms and conditions for which they originally applied.

According to the Fair Housing Act, lenders are prohibited from discriminating in making mortgages available or in the terms or conditions of a mortgage transaction based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status or disability.

“A person’s race and national origin have no effect on their credit worthiness,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity. “HUD will continue to work to give all families an equal opportunity at homeownership by ensuring that lenders meet their obligation to comply with the Fair Housing Act.”

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