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Buying a home is typically a part of any American dream, but for those who receive SSDI benefits this dream is hard to make a reality. Despite the government making several laws that prevent discrimination, some banks will deny mortgage applications because the applicant receives SSDI benefits.
When applying for a mortgage the bank will ask questions about the applicant’s income, living situation, credit history, and other financial details. During this interrogation a bank might ask if the applicant gets any public assistance and if they answer yes, the bank might ask for proof of continuing enrollment.
If they ask that question, they broke the law. Both the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Fair Housing Act prohibit banks from discriminating against disabled people or people who receive public assistance.
When banks ask for proof they’re breaking federal laws and the Department of Justice has been cracking down on banks who ignore the rules. Banks caught discriminating have been forced to financially compensate anyone they denied because of their SSDI benefits.
In 2012, Bank of America got caught discriminating against SSDI recipients. Here’s what the DoJ had to say in a press release.
“Bank of America to pay $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000 to eligible mortgage loan applicants who were asked to provide a letter from their doctor to document the income they received from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).”
Receiving SSDI is nothing to be ashamed of, and it shouldn’t limit your opportunities. If you’ve been denied a loan or discriminated by any kind of financial institution, you should contact federal authorities to defend your rights.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law