Monday, June 13, 2011

Mortgage industry "gets away" with pregnancy discrimination, but not for much longer

Discrimination in mortgage lending against pregnant mothers seems to happen a lot despite court rulings that it is illegal, the Washington Post reported Saturday, in a piece by Kenneth R. Harney here

Two specific cases, one in Seattle with Cornerstone and another in Pennsylvania are discussed.  Sometimes lenders don’t want to consider income paid while on maternity leave, but generally it must be considered if the mother is going to return to work.

The story also suggests that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need more guidance on how to handle the situations.   It would appear to be more testy for single mothers.  Of course, it would generally amount to illegal gender discrimination, since women are much more likely to use parental leave than men in the real world (if you allow disparate impact analysis).

There is another detailed story on Mortgage Orb here.  Cornerstone was required to set up a discrimination victims fund.

All that social conservative talk of the “family wage” doesn’t get very far in the law, much to the chagrin of the “natural family” crowd warning us about “demographic winter”. 
Update: June 14.  In a distantly reported story, the ACLU reports on the Supreme Court's allowing a law that makes it more difficult for fathers to transmit US citizenship to their kids than for mothers, link here.

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