Fresno developer reaches settlement with HUD
April 20, 2017
• One of several agreements resolving claims of unfair lending practices
• “Where a person comes from should not impact their ability to purchase a home”
A group of California companies, including a Fresno housing developer, has reached agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development resolving allegations they discriminated against a mortgage applicant based on his national origin.
The complaint alleged that Benchmark Communities of Fresno; Brigantino Enterprise of Hollister; American Financial Network of Brea, and an employee of Benchmark Communities, failed to prequalify a homebuyer to purchase a home in Hollister because he is Hispanic.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in rental, sales or home lending transactions based on a person’s national origin, race, color, religion, sex, familial status or disability.
“Where a person comes from should not impact their ability to purchase a home,” says HUD General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Bryan Greene.
The case came to HUD’s attention when the applicant filed a fair housing complaint alleging that he was unfairly denied an opportunity to prequalify for a mortgage loan, precluding him from purchasing a home because he is Hispanic.
Under the terms of the settlement, American Financial Network will pay the man $5,000; Benchmark Communities will provide annual fair housing training for its employees who interact with prospective homebuyers; and American Financial Network will provide annual fair housing training to current and new employees as they are hired.