FirstBank Mortgage Partners in Jackson, Tenn., has agreed to pay $35,000 to settle allegations that it violated the Fair Housing Act by denying a mortgage loan to an applicant on maternity leave.
Under the terms of the agreement, FirstBank will also adopt a national paternal leave policy and receive annual fair housing and fair lending training, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a press release Friday.
The Conciliation Agreement resolves a discrimination complaint filed with HUD by a married couple that alleged FirstBank approved their mortgage application, scheduled the loan closing, and then within 24 hours of learning the wife was on maternity leave, notified them the loan was denied, according to HUD.
The complaint alleged that FirstBank did not consider the couple’s ability to make loan payments during the wife’s maternity leave. The couple also alleged that FirstBank’s discriminatory practices caused them to both lose the opportunity to buy a home in Virginia and their existing housing forcing the wife and infant twins to move in with her parents while the husband moved to an apartment with their three-year old, HUD explained in the release.