The federal government is charging one of the nation’s largest banks with discriminating against those with disabilities.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development alleged Monday that Bank of America held customers with disabilities applying for home mortgages to a different set of standards.
Specifically, they said the bank applied “unnecessary and burdensome requirements” to borrowers with disability income and even asked some loan applicants to provide information from their physicians.
“Holding homebuyers with disabilities to a higher standard just because they rely on disability payments as a source of income is against the law,” said John Trasviña, assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity at HUD. “Mortgage companies may verify income and have eligibility standards but they may not single out homebuyers with disabilities to delay or deny financing when they are otherwise eligible.”
Federal housing officials said they were alerted to the alleged discrimination by borrowers in Michigan and Wisconsin who said that Bank of America required medical information and proof that they would continue to receive Social Security benefits.
The matter is now being referred to the Department of Justice.
Representatives from Bank of America did not respond to a request for comment.