Assembly Bill Tackling Mortgage Discrimination and Foreclosure Practices in New Jersey Advances in Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Gabriela Mosquera that would address concerns of mortgage discrimination and foreclosure practices by prohibiting discrimination based on familial status advanced in the Assembly Monday.

The bill (A-401) prohibits depository institutions that make mortgage loans in this state from discriminating against any person that is making an available mortgage loan, or in the terms or conditions of a mortgage loan, because of the person’s familial status. It also would allow anyone discriminated against in violation of the bill to bring action in a New Jersey court of competent jurisdiction. Upon finding that a depository institution is in violation, the court would be permitted to award actual damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and court costs.

The bill defines “familial status” as being the natural parent of a child, the adoptive parent of a child, the resource family parent of a child, having a “parent and child relationship” with a child as defined by state law, or having sole or joint legal or physical custody, care, guardianship, or visitation with a child, or any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18.

No one should be denied or delayed loans because of their familial status. As long as the candidate is qualified for the loan, whether or not they have children or are on maternity leave or expanding their families, should not be considered as part of the loan application process.

The bill was advanced by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. It will now go to the full Assembly for further consideration.