SunTrust Mortgage latest lender to settle maternity leave discrimination claims

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SunTrust Mortgage Inc. has agreed to pay two couples who were allegedly denied mortgages because the women were on maternity leave $18,000 each, and adopt a parental leave policy prohibiting discriminatory lending. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reached similar settlements last year with Land Home Financial Services, Lending Tree Loans, and Magna Bank. In 2011, HUD announced a settlement with Houston-based Cornerstone Mortgage Co. that created a $750,000 fund to provide payments to alleged victims of similar discrimination. HUD was spurred to action by a 2010 report in the New York Times that found some lenders were refusing to count disability payments new mothers receive while on maternity leave from work as income. Source: hud.gov.