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Credit Discrimination

Learn About Discrimination Against Women

Learn About Discrimination Against Women

Discrimination against women is a serious problem that continues to manifest itself in different ways in the United States. In previous generations, the common mentality regarding women emphasized their responsibility to maintain the household and care for their family, while men were accountable for guaranteeing an income to pay the bills. In the last half century, however, the power and authority held by women has increased a great deal and major strides have been made in discrimination based on sex.
However, discrimination is still intricately interwoven into the consciousness of many people throughout the country, and therefore, it is still present in all arenas, including in domestic situations, employment, and when a women is applying for credit. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Federal Fair Housing Act, and state governments have taken steps to end credit discrimination against women.
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits a creditor from practicing discrimination against women when a woman is seeking credit for real estate purposes. This includes credit that is intended to be utilized in order to purchase a home and credit that a woman seeks to improve and maintain her home.
The ECOA also prohibits discrimination against women. Indeed, there are various different ways that a creditor may discriminate against women. For example, a creditor may classify a male-specific job, such as a policeman, as more valuable and more important than the female counterpart. Therefore, a man who is employed as a policeman may be granted credit, while a woman who is employed as a policewoman may be extended less credit or denied it altogether.
Collectively, the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act prevent creditors from ignoring alimony, child support, and part-time employment as an adequate form of income. Creditors are also forbidden from forcing married women to include information about their husbands if they are applying for credit on their own.
The Federal Fair Housing Act, the ECOA, and state legislation only require a woman to provide information about her husband if he will have access to the account or if he will be responsible for paying the debt that is accrued on the account. If a married woman will be the only individual with access to the account and she will be solely accountable for the account, then forcing her to include her husband’s information is a form of sexual discrimination.
In addition, the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act forbid discrimination against women based on their marital status. If a creditor considers the joined income of a married couple when authorizing a joint obligation, then they also must consider the combined incomes of an unmarried couple that is applying for the same financial guarantee.
Women may often find it difficult to obtain credit because they may not have the necessary records exhibiting a positive credit history. In many cases, when a woman changes her name after marriage she will lose her credit history. In other instances, a creditor will only list a husband’s name when they report joint accounts for which both spouses have been responsible. Without evidence of a good credit history, an individual will usually be unable to obtain a loan, another one of the many ways that the system discriminates against women.

Be Aware of Racial Discrimination

Be Aware of Racial Discrimination

Many individuals like to believe that racial discrimination is a thing of the past in the United States. Although the United States has made great progress in the realm of civil rights, racial discrimination has in no way disappeared. It is a troubling reality of our nation and of our world.
Individuals who are of a minority racial group often grow up in low-income communities, and they are generally enrolled in inadequate public education systems which are understaffed and underfunded. In light of the ineffective educational systems in these areas, very few individuals from poor communities will continue their education in college. In most cases, these people will be unable to attain a high-paying job, which may lead to trouble obtaining a loan.
Some creditors have been known to disregard income and simply deny credit based on an individual’s race. The United States Federal Government passed the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the Community Reinvestment Act in part to curb racially discriminatory practices in extending credit. 

Must Know Before Reporting Credit Discrimination

Must Know Before Reporting Credit Discrimination

Although federal and state consumer protection laws prohibit lenders from discriminating against applicants for any reason, prejudice continues to exist throughout the country. Consumer protection laws do not stop some creditors from refusing to extend an applicant credit based on his/her race, sex, age, religion, or marital status. This behavior is unacceptable, and if an individual is the victim of credit discrimination, he/she should report it to the appropriate authorities.
Attempting to report a creditor that violates consumer protection laws may be intimidating. Often, a victim is unsure of who to contact. As a matter of fact, no national hotlines have been established in order to offer assistance and advice to victims of credit discrimination. However, there are some organizations, such as the National Consumer Law Center, that work with consumers in order to ensure that their rights are protected.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) dedicates a great deal of resources to enhancing consumer protection. An individual who has experienced unlawful discrimination should report the offending company to the Federal Trade Commission.
This organization utilizes consumer complaints in order to compose an electronic database of company misconduct, which will be available for thousands of criminal investigators around the world to access. Though the FTC is not responsible for addressing individual cases, the complaints that are filed will assist in identifying companies that exhibit patterns of unlawful behavior and discriminatory lending practices.
If an applicant believes that a lender or a company has disregarded federal or state consumer protection laws, the victim should also report the offense to the agency that monitors that creditor. Each state has an agency specifically designated to address consumer protection.
For example, in New Jersey, the Division of Consumer Affairs is responsible for presiding over issues of identity theft, financial fraud, and economic discrimination. If the misconduct occurred during a real estate transaction, the victim should make a complaint to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD allows an individual to file a complaint online, over the phone, or by mail. If an individual believes that his/her rights have been encroached upon, than he/she may choose to speak with an attorney.
Violating consumer protection laws is a very serious offense. If an applicant has been subjected to credit discrimination or housing discrimination, the National Consumer Law Center can provide him/her with essential advice and information. This organization is devoted to enhancing consumer protection throughout the country. The National Consumer Law Center is the expert on consumer problems, especially issues related to low-income individuals.
Because of their extensive research and knowledge, many policymakers rely on the information provided by this organization for the development of legislation. The National Consumer Law Center provides new and experienced attorneys with consultation services, so that these lawyers may better understand the issues that are faced by low-income consumers.
The organization has compiled numerous volumes of information regarding consumer protection laws, credit discrimination, and consumer analysis. The National Consumer Law Center has also undertaken various initiatives in order to address the challenges faced by low-income consumers, as well as credit discrimination.
They address the issues faced by the elderly, immigrants, and victims of domestic violence, as well as many other underprivileged individuals. The work of the National Consumer Law Center and other Federal consumer protection organizations have made a great deal of progress in limiting the occurrence of credit discrimination.

Must Know Types of Credit Discriminations

Must Know Types of Credit Discriminations

Discrimination is an unfortunate and upsetting reality of our society. Despite the fact the United States Federal Government and state governments have taken various types of action to outlaw discrimination, it continues to persist throughout the nation.
Discrimination occurs on all levels in various realms, and it may be based on numerous personal characteristics. Prejudice related to discrimination can be witnessed on the streets, in classrooms, and in office buildings. One particularly troubling variant is credit discrimination. Lenders have the right to deny an applicant credit for a variety of different reasons. If an individual has not secured an acceptable income, then a creditor can refuse to extend credit to that applicant.
However, many lenders use their authority to blatantly discriminate against applicants. Lenders have often refused to grant credit to an individual based on his/her race, sex, religion, and age. In order to help combat credit discrimination, the United States Federal Government has enacted various types of legislation prohibiting discriminatory practices.


Role of the ECOA and FHA Age Discrimination
Throughout history, lenders have been known to discriminate against applicants based on a variety of different factors. One factor that has often been taken into account by creditors is the age of the individual who is applying for credit. In many instances, a lender may oppose the idea of granting credit to an elderly individual. A common mentality amongst lenders is that elderly individuals are a high-risk investment.
In many cases, an elderly individual does not maintain a primary income from employment, and instead they rely on pension plans and retirement funds to supply necessary resources. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) was established in order to help ensure that lenders do not practice age discrimination, especially against elderly applicants.

Discrimination Against Women
Throughout the majority of history, women have been perceived as inferior to men. They have not been granted the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities with which men have been entrusted. However, in the last half century, women have gained a great deal of authority and have made great strides in attaining power. Nevertheless, discrimination against women continues to be a troubling reality throughout the nation. Women are often treated as subordinates to their male counterparts, and they often receive a smaller salary then men who are responsible for the same duties and tasks.
Likewise, women may find it difficult to obtain loans, while men of a similar situation may not have any difficulty. There are many different aspects of the credit system that breed discrimination against women. The Federal Fair Housing Act (FFHA) was also established in order to help abolish gender discrimination by lenders. This Act also prohibits discrimination based on marital status, which is often an integral part discrimination against women.

Racial Discrimination
In the United States, the Civil Rights Movement resulted in strides against racial discrimination within the legal system. However, racial discrimination is still widespread throughout the nation and can be witnessed in many different domains. Throughout much of history, lenders have discriminated against minority racial groups by refusing to grant them credit. Creditors often cite the tendency of minority communities to maintain low incomes as a primary reason they do not extend loans to individuals of a minority race.
Lenders have often been found to use methods of effectively violating government regulations aimed at preventing racial discrimination. Accordingly, the Federal Government enacted the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Both of these Acts were intended to diminish racial discrimination employed by lenders. Under this new legislation, lenders are required to meet the needs of all individuals within their vicinity, despite the race of the applicant. 

Other Forms of Credit Discrimination 
Discrimination can happen to any individual for any number of reasons. Though Federal legislation prohibits such behavior, companies and lenders can choose to discriminate against an applicant based on something as banal as eye color. While race, sex, age, and religion are the most common characteristics to be at the center of discrimination, they are not the only traits about which individuals maintain prejudices.
One type of credit discrimination that is beginning to gain national attention is discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, there are many other reasons that applicants experience discrimination. Federal legislation is not very specific in the types of discrimination that is prohibited under Federal law. Therefore, individuals who are subjected to discrimination based on sexual orientation, or any other characteristics, are not protected under Federal law. In order to address this problem, numerous states have chosen to create legislation that increases the scope of consumer protection.  

Reporting Credit Discrimination 
Credit discrimination is a very troubling occurrence in the United States. Like all forms of prejudice and discrimination, this type of bigotry should be reported to the appropriate authorities. If a victim of credit discrimination reports a company’s misconduct, these creditors may receive due consequences for their discriminatory practices. However, in order for an unjust and corrupt corporation to receive penalties for their behavior, individuals must first report the discrimination they have experienced.
There are various different organizations and agencies that have been established in order to ensure that consumers remain protected. These organizations exist at both the Federal and the state level. An individual can contact a federal organization or a state agency in order to report misconduct on the part of creditors and corporations.
Generally, consumer protection agencies will not be permitted to address specific personal cases. However, the complaints that are filed may be included in a communal case against a questionable corporation. An individual who believes that they have been the victim of credit discrimination may want to speak with an attorney about a possible course of action as well.