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Can my mortgage lender ask about my disability?

Q: A bank has asked for information about the nature of my disability before considering me for a mortgage loan. Do they have the right to do that?

A: The following comes directly from the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Guide to Disability Rights Laws”:

The Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status and national origin. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, and individual associated with a buyer or renter or an individual who intends to live in the residence. Other covered activities include, for example, financing, zoning properties, new construction design and advertising.

With regards to your disability, the mortgage lender cannot use any information you provide as a basis for denying credit. If you think this is the case or is likely to be the case, or have concerns about what information the lender is entitled to know, you should inquire or file a complaint online with HUD or file a complaint online or with the Federal Trade Commission.

Ask the expert
Keith Gumbinger
Keith Gumbinger
Mortgage Expert
Vice President, HSH.com
About Keith: Mortgage market observer and analyst with 35 years experience... (more)
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