HUD Announces Settlement in JP Morgan Discrimination Case
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a Conciliation Agreement between JPMorgan Chase Bank and a homeowner who alleged her appraisal was undervalued due to racial discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
“The race of a homeowner and the racial composition of their neighborhood must not influence the valuation of a home,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, who was quoted in the press release.
Race Cannot Be a Factor In Approval of Housing
Worden adds,. “The Fair Housing Act prohibits the consideration of race as a factor in the appraisal of a home and in the provision of other real estate related services. Discrimination in home buying, mortgage lending, and property appraisal deprives qualified individuals of an equal opportunity to pursue homeownership as a path to family stability and financial security. HUD is committed to ensuring that all housing, whether for rent or for sale, is free from discrimination.”
Under the terms of the agreement announced on March 8, 2021, JPMorgan Chase Bank will pay $50,000 to the homeowner who was discriminated against in violation of the Fair Housing Act. JP Morgan Chase is also required to “provide home lending advisors and client care specialists with mandatory training on the Reconsideration of Value process and fair lending issues related to appraisals”. That training will include training on how to manage complaints of discrimination in the appraisal process.
A Voluntary Settlement
It should be noted that the agreement is a voluntary one--all parties volunteered to agree to the terms and conditions of this settlement.
The Fair Housing Act is a federal law which makes it unlawful to discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of a home over issues such as race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status.
Fair Housing regulations also make it a crime to discriminate against any person in “making available such a transaction”, or to discriminate in the terms or conditions of housing transactions.
File a Fair Housing Complaint
Have you experienced discrimination in the housing process? No matter if you are renting or buying, report Fair Housing Act violations to the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay). You can also file an online complaint at hud.gov/fair housing.
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