|HUD No. 06-19-12
Joseph J. Phillips
June 19, 2012
HUD ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH ALABAMA PROPERTY OWNERS AND AGENT TO SETTLE NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS
ATLANTA - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has reached an agreement which resolves allegations that a seller and agent in Maplesville, Alabama, failed to transfer a title to a property it sold to a Hispanic family and intimidated them because of their national origin.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the sale or financing of a home, make discriminatory statements, or intimidate or harass someone based on their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.
"The Fair Housing Act protects the rights of all individuals to equal access to housing," said Carlos Osegueda, Region IV Regional Director, Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "It was a privilege for my team to be a part of justice in this case. I encourage individuals who believe they are being treated unfairly in their housing transactions due to their national origin or any other protected basis, to contact the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity toll free at 1 (800) 669-9777."
The family purchased and financed a lot for their home from the sellers. The family alleged that they paid off their promissory note and obtained a receipt from the seller's agent stating that the note was paid in full. However, when the family asked when they would receive the title to the property, the sellers' agent allegedly asked about their national origin and made excuses for not transferring the deed. The family was unsuccessful in obtaining the deed until HUD eventually secured it.
The conciliation agreement acknowledges the transfer of the deed and prohibits the respondents from retaliating against the complainants, such as by interfering with water, sewer, or utility services. Further, the conciliation agreement contains several public interest provisions, including procedures to verify the seller and agent's closure of their real estate business and to monitor the properties they own and finance. The seller and agent are also required to include information about the Fair Housing Act in English and Spanish in all of their existing real estate contracts.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.