June 23, 2022 by Leave a comment

Although we have seen many examples of positive legislation and improved social action in the fight for equality for LGBTQ+ people over the past years, there are still some social and legal hoops that they have to jump through. These hoops include mortgage laws, which can make getting a loan and buying a home more difficult.

In this article, you will learn about the different mortgage lending options for LGBTQ+ couples, as well as a variety of other topics related to the LGBTQ+ community, the housing market, and issues therein.

Utilizing the Law to Your Advantage

It is incredibly important that members of the LGBTQ+ community utilize the laws that protect them from discrimination. It is important to note that not all laws protecting communities from discrimination protect LGBTQ+ couples.

For example, the Fair Housing Act enacted in 1968 (amended 1988,) protects all Americans from housing discrimination based on their race, religion, family status, disability, color, or national origin. Yet sexual orientation is not listed as a demographic protected by this law, neither is gender identity.

In addition, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act enacted in 1974 prohibits discrimination based on marital status, sex, age, race, color, religion, national origin, or receipt of public assistance, when it comes to loans and lending. Once again, sexual orientation and gender identity with left out of the picture.

In 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau interpreted the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to say that the term “sex” includes those of different sexual orientations and gender identities, therefore making it explicitly clear that lenders cannot discriminate against people solely for their sexual orientation.

The omission of sexual orientation from these two powerful laws can be the reason why some LGBTQ+ couples do not receive the loans they qualify for if the lender is discriminatory. While many lenders view and act upon the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act to include LGBTQ+ people, not all do.

On the other hand, specific laws are being passed and written to help patch up this loophole. President Biden signed an executive order called the preventing and combating discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. 

This order forces the heads of agencies to address policies that they currently employ to ensure that everyone has a roof over their heads without dealing with the trials of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

In addition, the Equality Act is in its final stages. This act would ensure protection for all consumers against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in any financial products or services, which would include the housing and lending industries.

It is important to know the criteria of these laws so that you can use them to your advantage when applying for loans for your mortgage. Knowing your rights is a huge step in being able to uphold your rights.

State and Local Laws

All the federal laws are more trendy to talk about, knowing the state and local laws in your area is incredibly important. Housing discrimination based on sexual orientation has been banned in 23 States and Washington DC, and discrimination based on gender identity has been banned in 22 of those.

Regardless of federal laws, knowing whether or not your state or local area has a housing discrimination ban for discrimination on sexual orientation or gender identity can be extremely important and helpful in figuring out where to live and how to get a mortgage loan.

The issue with state and local legislation is that it is very dispersed. While some states have laws codified that protect LGBTQ+ people from housing discrimination, some states have no anti-discrimination laws on a state or local level.

On the other hand, some states have anti-discrimination laws in some counties, but not in others. This can cause LGBTQ+ couples an extremely difficult time finding a home, getting a loan, and buying a house.

This is why it is incredibly important to know the area that you are looking to buy in and the area that you currently live in. In addition, working with a mortgage lender who is an expert in their state or area, such as the ones from Total Mortgage, is great utility to you.

Getting a Mortgage Loan Without Experiencing Discrimination

Nobody deserves to have to jump through hoops, figure out whether or not they can live in a certain area, and deal with the extra hassle and pain of discrimination on top of the stress of buying a house.

This is why it is super important to get a mortgage loan from a good lender. Getting a mortgage loan from a good lender means finding a lending company that knows the local, state, and federal laws, and abides by them.

To find a good mortgage lending company, there are a few criteria that you should look for before you get in contact with them.

Firstly, look for mortgage companies that have great reputations. Their reviews should be positive, indicating that the lenders work with their clients every step of the way and pay attention to the financial capabilities of their clients.

If you are debating about working with a certain mortgage company, ask them if they can provide references from other LGBTQ+ couples that they have had as clients. This is a great way to get information on how the company truly treats its LGBTQ+ clients.

Another great way to ensure that you are working with a mortgage lending group that is anti-discriminatory is to look for a diverse company. In addition, a company that works throughout various states is another green flag that you are working with a lending company that will not discriminate against you. 

Loans for LGBTQ+ People from Total Mortgage

At Total Mortgage, we are proud to support the legislation in place that prohibits discriminatory behavior in the housing market and the lending industry. 

Our lenders uphold the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s interpretation of this act prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Find a Total Mortgage lender near you to begin the mortgage lending process so you can get the house of your dreams!

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