Discrimination is inevitable in the modern world. The main reason why it hurts is that we are aware of it in 2017.
I responded to a Bank of America survey about a refi experience I recently had. I complained to the survey that I was asked about whether my parents will live with me and my child, whether I plan to have a third child, and whether my in-law might live with us.
As I complained that these matter seemed irrelevant and needlessly frustrated me for several extra weeks, I realized something.
Parents living with adult children is not a White People™ things. Chinese people, Some Indian families, the Hispanic population, poor people, these are the people who will take their parents into their home and take care of them. (In most cases, I think the despised act is not that we take care of them but that we put them to work caring for kids or garden)If I was a white person, that answer would quickly end with “no” but because I belong to a minority population having culture to provide for parents at home, I had to spend a few extra weeks being suspected for a bridge loan and blocking my progress.
By spending an exorbitant amount of extra time asking about this aspect of my family, what my plans were in these aspects. The bank discriminated against people of these ethnicity. It discriminates against me because it grossly inconvenienced me due to my culture and not due to attributes they can legally use.
The other aspect of this matter is revealed when I demanded an explanation from the loan officer. She plainly states that she feel everything is justified because the bank suspect that I am obtaining the loan for a purpose they cannot support. The main problem is that the fact of their suspicion does not justify the extra effort required of me. This is unjust punishment from unsubstantiated suspiciousness. If I smiled at a Muslim and then looked at a whiteman funny one day–according to an observing bank teller who “has trained for this situation”–does that mean she can refuse a money withdraw request by me due to suspicion that I want to aid Islamic terror activity against white Americans? These kind of liberties taken by large institutions against whom individuals have virtually no recourse against fits into the world like broken windows on a street–it leads to more broken windows and bigger crimes!
The other thing is the question about my plans. I found myself spending a large amount of time explaining my thoughts of the real estate market around my house, that I am optimistic about the future growth, but not so optimistic that I might invest in real estate. I find it exceedingly incomprehensible that my financial goals, my investment strategy, and my view of American economics is of concern when I apply for a loan. What in the heck just happened to me? What was that? Why would these be required to get a loan?
(And honestly, there was a time when I had a great loan officer at BoA, who never ever asked if my parents live with me for the several refi’s he processed for me. But he left the company.)
I am very dissatisfied with your new lending process, Bank of America! I still use you for my banking and mortgage, after more than a decade of patronage, because I don’t have a choice, not because I am loving this experience. I thank you for your years of service that I’ve always appreciated, but now with greater reservation having gained greater understanding of it’s extent in 2017.
(Also, all loans mentioned here were approved and I have not violated my loan terms since then. The approvals were not subsequent to my providing additional documentation substantiating my familial plans or outlook. They were just approved after a lot of phone tags, phone interviews, and long delays in between)