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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 7, 2019 01:06 PM
From: Representative Liz Hanbidge
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting LGBTQ Individuals from Discrimination in the Credit Service Industry
Researchers in Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business analyzed national mortgage data from 1990 to 2015 and found the approval rate for same-sex couples was 3 to 8 percent lower than heterosexual couples. Based on this data, same-sex applicants were 73 percent more likely to be denied and, if approved, paid more in interest and fees.

Taken over the course of a 30-year mortgage, increased interest rates can add up to tens of thousands of dollars for same-sex couples. While the research cites a difference in finance fees averaging less than 0.5 percent, the combined costs added up as much as $86 million annually.

While mortgage applicants are not required to disclose their sexual orientation, researchers suggest that perception and internal bias is just as damaging in terms of discrimination. The federal Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity Acts prohibit discrimination based on a borrower’s race, gender, marital status or religion, but neither specifically lists sexual orientation.

My legislation aims to combat this discrimination by amending PA’s Credit Services Act. The bill adds denying credit or increasing charges and fees based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression as a “prohibited activity” for credit service companies.

I ask that you support this legislation and join me in guaranteeing same-sex couples have equal access to credit and creating a fairer, more equitable Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HB1656