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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 110401
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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We applied for a home loan in late June this year. We had

Customer Question

Hi. We applied for a home loan in late June this year. We had had a foreclosure in 2012, following the crash, and had left the USA to live in Germany for a few years. Returned last year in May. Cardinal Financial in Arizona "pre-qualified" us for a loan on June 22nd, with all of this information in front of them. Based on my high salary both now and in my previous employment, and the small value of the loan we were seeking compared to my high income (the amount we sought to borrow is less than 1 years salary), the agent we dealt with said "it was a lock" and sent various written correspondence to that effect.
They started to worry us a few weeks ago, as the finance failed to materialize, and we were not in contract for a house and had arranged to move out of our current one. They told us "the underwriters are just being slow", "we are pushing them" etc.. We finally get an adverse decision today, 4 days before we are meant to go into Escrow.
Do we have any civil avenues to pursue? In particular, does the provision in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, that any Lender must inform the Applicant of a decision yay or nay within 30 days of acceptance of the application, give us a basis for a civil suit? (They said no after 42 days, if we had heard earlier we had the opportunity to make escrow with an alternate lender.
Any ideas here?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act does not mandate lenders provide a loan to anyone. The ECOA does mandate you get notice of ADVERSE action within 30 days. If they did not notify you of the adverse action within 30 days, you could sue them for the damages that failure to notify you caused you in that you could have gone to another lender. You can sue for the actual damages you incurred for their lack of notice and punitive damages. So you need to consider getting a local consumer protection law attorney to pursue the lender for lack of timely notice under the ECOA. You also can file a complaint to the Consumer Protection Bureau against the lender for investigation.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I thanks. Please check my last paragraph, I am well aware that the decision can be either "yay" or "nay", but the point is that the decision must be delivered within 30 days of receipt of the application.They made this argument, when I first raised this Federally mandated 30 days, that they had told me that the underwriter was still considering our application, and so therefore they had informed us of an outcome and met Federal obligations under the act. That would seem to be a pretty puerile argument.. But, in that spirit, would you mind listing some circumstances under which they could rightfully claim to have not had to have given a decision within the 30 day period?Also, can they claim that it was "unintentional", this lapse? It seems to be an out for at least some of the requirements, which is a little bizzare...
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, I understood what you were saying and if they did not give you the adverse decision within 30 days, they were in violation and can be sued as I stated. There is no provision in the law for it being "unintentional" and if they did violate the law you should pursue action against them.

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