Lender settles discrimination claim

June 11, 2011
Cornerstone Mortgage has agreed to settle a federal complaint that it discriminated against home loan applicants on maternity leave, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said.
     The Houston-based lender agreed to pay one applicant $15,000 and set aside a $750,000 fund for others who may have similar claims against the company. The lender also agreed to adopt a clearer policy against discrimination and to notify potential claimants about the fund.
     HUD brought the complaint under the Fair Housing Act and alleged that Cornerstone discriminated against women on maternity leave. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination in sales, rental and lending based on a person's race, sex or family. Cornerstone, which does business in 32 states, denies it has discriminated in violation of the act, according to the settlement.