MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) — Evolve Bank & Trust has agreed to maintain revised policies, conduct employee training and compensate victims to resolve allegations it committed disability discrimination and violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Justice Department announced.
Under the FHA, lenders cannot discriminate because of disability. The ECOA, meanwhile, prohibits lenders from discriminating on the basis of receipt of public assistance.
The terms of the settlement mandate that Evolve establish a settlement fund of $86,000 to compensate eligible mortgage loan applicants who were allegedly discriminated against. Evolve also must provide training for its underwriters and loan officers and monitor loan applications, ensuring that applicants with disabilities are fairly treated.
“Loan applicants who rely on disability income should not be treated differently than other applicants,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This settlement will provide relief to victims of a discriminatory practice that illegally and unnecessarily burdens individuals with disabilities in violation the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.”
The lawsuit originated when the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors provided a referral to the Civil Rights Division. Evolve is a Federal Reserve System member.