Under the law every consumer has the right to equal access to credit and the right to full disclosure of all costs associated with obtaining a mortgage. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) provides for equal access to credit regardless or race, religion, age, color, national origin, sex, marital status or income from public assistance programs. There are additional protections if you have a physical or mental disability. For more information on your housing rights, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and request the Fair Housing – It’s Your Right brochure.
In addition, the ECOA requires that you be notified as to whether your application has been approved as requested, modified or rejected within 30 days of the completed application.
Specific reasons for rejection must be given to you, in writing, at the time of rejection or upon your written request for the specific reasons. An application is considered complete once the lender has received all the information necessary to make a loan decision. This may include such information as:
- Credit reports
- Employment/income verifications.
- Approvals by insurance companies.
- Additional information, as required.
Additional consumer protection laws include the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth-in-Lending Act. RESPA requires lenders to give you advance notice of estimated closing costs in purchase and refinance transactions. The Truth-in-Lending Act requires all lenders to fully disclose, in writing, the terms and conditions of a loan including the annual percentage rate (APR) which reflects the cost of obtaining credit.