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No Homes for Pregnant Women? Do Something About it!

In case you missed the disturbing news, mortgage companies have admitted that they regularly deny home loans to pregnant women on maternity leave. Their reasoning is that any leave of absence from work is grounds to deny a loan.

This situation is obviously unacceptable for expecting parents, who are often in the market for new homes. Pregnancy is such a classic time for home shopping that pregnant women are often featured in home buying ads!

The good news: You can help end this injustice. Find out how after the jump.

Mom Activist group Moms Rising has kicked into gear. They’re rallying the troops to endorse the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s investigation. You can sign the petition here.

For more details, here’s an excerpt from an email from Momsrising.org on the subject:

Last week The New York Times profiled the story of Elizabeth Budde, a Washington State doctor who’d been approved for a home loan but then had her home loan revoked after a loan officer learned she was on maternity leave with her newborn baby. [1]

“The reason we were buying the house was because we were having a baby,” said Dr. Budde. “And now we got punished for having a baby.”

Disturbingly, it appears that such loan discrimination against new mothers may be all too common.  The New York Times article quoted the president of a mortgage company who remarked:  “Maternity leave or any other leave of absence often prevents a person from obtaining a mortgage.”

We’re outraged!  Thankfully, folks at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (which enforces the Fair Housing Act) seem to feel similarly.  On the same day that the article came out, HUD issued a press release stating that they would investigate the lending practices of certain mortgage lenders “to determine if they illegally denied families mortgages because the mother is pregnant or a family member is experiencing a short-term disability.”

Hopefully, with enough support, the HUD can change this practice soon, so pregnant and new moms can get the new homes they need for their growing families!

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