The Fair Housing Act was passed in April 1968, a national law that prohibits discrimination in the purchase, sale, rental, or financing of housing—private or public—based on race, skin color, sex, nationality, or religion.
The statute has been amended several times, including in 1988 to add disability and family status.
Some housing practices are considered illegal if based on a home seeker’s race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, or disability:
- Refusing to rent or sell a house
- Falsely denying that a house is available for inspection, sale, or rent
- Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges for certain people
- Intimidating, interfering with, or coercing someone to prevent them from buying or leasing a dwelling
- Advertising or posting notices, sale or rental, that indicate a preference, limitation, or discrimination
- Discriminating through financing or broker's services
- "Steering" of clients by real estate agents to or from certain neighborhoods and of tenants by landlords to or from certain areas of the complex
Predatory lending is a lending practice that puts homeowners in danger of losing their home. Predatory lending occurs in a variety of lending practices such as:
- High interest/fees- Predatory lenders will often charge extremely high interest rates and fees that are financed into the loan.
- Interest rates & terms- Many borrowers are offered lower monthly payments, a good interest rate, and a loan that meets all their needs; however, at the closing table, oftentimes, the interest rates, terms of the loan, or prepayment penalties are found.
- Balloon payment- To promise lower monthly payments for homeowners, borrowers have included balloon payments (3-, 5-, 10- year requirements) without explaining the meaning. When the balloon payment comes due, homeowners are often forced to refinance or lose their home to meet this obligation.
If you feel you have been the victim of predatory lending practices or housing discrimination, you can contact the City of Rome Community Development at 706-236-4477 or file a complaint directly to FHEO at HUD.
Learn more about Fair Housing.