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This module would not be complete without a brief review of Fair Housing Laws.

Laws have been passed by Congress to protect homebuyers against certain types of discrimination in housing.  The purpose of these laws is to create a single, unbiased market where everyone has the opportunity to purchase a home and live where she or he chooses.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing or mortgage lending and the provision of insurance or brokerage services because of:

  • Race or color
  • National Origin
  • Sex
  • Familial status (one or more children under 18; also applies to pregnant women.)
  • Handicap or disability
  • Creed
  • Religion
  • Age

What is prohibited?

No one may take any of the following actions based on the above basis:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny housing
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale or rental
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting)
  • Steering Conscientious direction of persons to or away from specific areas
  • Redlining Refusing to make loans or issue insurance policies in certain areas
  • Coerce, intimidate or harass someone for exercising their fair housing rights.
  • No one may refuse to reasonably accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities.

In mortgage lending, no one may take any of the following actions based on the above bases:  

  • Refuse to make mortgage loan
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan
  • Discriminate in appraising property
  • Refuse to purchase a loan
  • Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits denials of credit based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status or receipt of public assistance.

If you believe that you have encountered discrimination, you should contact a local fair housing agency or your local HUD office, or call (toll-free) 1-800-669-9777.  Hearing impaired persons may call (TDD) 1-800-927-9275.



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Table of Contents | Homebuyer Course Start Page | Find A Realtor | Budgeting To Buy a Home | Neighborhoods | Find Your First House | Inspect Before You Buy | Shop For a Mortgage Loan | Mortgage Home Loan Process | Credit Score and Credit Report | Home Mortgage Loan Closing | Being a Home Owner


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Edited and suplimented by Mory Brenner, Esq. For more information read our terms of use and privacy policy.