Macon couple wins $1.5 million settlement in disability discrimination lawsuit

Fifth Third Mortgage Co. has agreed to pay more than $1.5 million in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve a disability discrimination lawsuit involving a Macon couple.

The couple initially filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development alleging the mortgage company and mortgage broker Cranbrook Mortgage Corp. rejected their home loan application in 2010 based on disability discrimination and the fact that they receive public assistance, according to a news release.

According to the lawsuit, the two companies allegedly violated the Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity acts.

As part of the settlement filed Thursday, Fifth Third has agreed to maintain revised policies, conduct employee training and to establish a $1.52 million settlement fund to compensate eligible loan applicants who were asked to provide a doctor’s letter to document income they received from Social Security Disability Insurance, according to the release.

Fifth Third also will monitor loan applications to be sure applicants with disabilities aren’t asked for a doctor’s letter, according to the release.

Cranbrook Mortgage Corp. has revised its underwriting practices, will conduct training and will pay $2,000 to the applicants who filed the HUD complaint, according to the release.

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