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Filing a complaint against a lender.

General complaints

If you think your lender has violated the law, contact a private attorney, your state's Attorney General's office or banking regulatory agency, or the Federal Trade Commission.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them.

To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer credit issues, visit http://www.ftc.gov/ or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

If you suspect discrimination.

Take action if you think you’ve been discriminated against. Complain to the lender. Sometimes you can persuade the lender to reconsider your application. Check with your state Attorney General’s office to see if the creditor violated state laws. Many states have their own equal credit opportunity laws.

Contact a local private fair housing group and report violations to the appropriate government agency. If your mortgage application is denied, the lender must give you the name and address of the agency to contact.

Consider suing the lender in federal district court. If you win, you can recover your actual damages and be awarded punitive damages if the court finds that the lender’s conduct was willful. You also may recover reasonable lawyers’ fees and court costs. You also might consider joining with others to file a class action suit.

A number of federal agencies share enforcement responsibility for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Determining which agency to contact depends, in part, on the type of financial institution you dealt with.

For violations of the FHA:

Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
US Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD), Room 5204
Washington, DC 20410-2000
Toll-free hotline: 1-800-424-8590
TDD: 1-800-543-8294

You have one year to file a complaint with HUD, but you should file as soon as possible. Your complaint to HUD should include:

  • Your name and address;
  • The name and address of the person or company who is the subject of the complaint;
  • The address or other identification of the housing involved;
  • A short description of the facts that caused you to believe your rights were violated; and
  • The dates of the alleged violation.

HUD will notify you when it receives your complaint. Normally, HUD also will:

  • Notify the alleged violator of your complaint and permit the person to submit an answer;
  • Investigate your complaint and determine whether there is a reasonable cause to believe the Fair Housing Act has been violated; and
  • Notify you if it cannot complete an investigation within 100 days of receiving your complaint.

For violations of the ECOA and the FHA:

For nationally-charted banks:

Comptroller of the Currency
Compliance Management
Mail Stop 7-5
Washington, DC 20219

For state-chartered banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, but not members of the Federal Reserve System:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Consumer Affairs Division
Washington, DC 20429

For federally-chartered or federally-insured savings and loans:

Office of Thrift Supervision
Consumer Affairs Program
Washington, DC 20552

For federally-chartered credit unions:

National Credit Union Administration
Consumer Affairs Division
Washington, DC 20456

For state member banks of the Federal Reserve System:

Consumer and Community Affairs
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
20th & C Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20551

For discrimination complaints against all kinds of creditors:

Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Washington, DC 20530

For ECOA violations involving mortgage and consumer finance companies:

While the FTC generally does not intervene in individual disputes, the information you provide may indicate a pattern of violations requiring action by the Commission.

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
Washington, DC 20580
202-326-2222; TDD: 1-866-653-4261

To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer credit issues. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

The Basics
Shopping for a Loan

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More Information:
Refinancing a Home Equity Loan
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Protection Against Discrimination
Getting advice and counseling
Filing a complaint against a lender
Other ways to borrow money

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