Local Gay Couple Claims Discrimination Over Loan Denial

Randy McWhorter And Jim Donnelly Sue Bank Of America After Home Loan Modification Is Denied

Two Hillcrest men have filed a discrimination suit against Bank of America because they can't get a loan modification on their home mortgage.

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Randy McWhorter told 10News, "Really, what we want is just a fair mortgage like anyone else got, at a reasonable interest. It's all we've ever wanted -- a 30-year fixed mortgage."

McWhorter and his partner, Jim Donnelly, have been in their house since 2005. They started the refinancing process in 2008.

The couple is currently paying 7.25 percent interest and would be able to knock hundreds of dollars off the monthly mortgage payment if they could get a lower rate.

However, because they're not married and can't legally get married, the couple said Bank of America won't consider both of their incomes.

"We were told over and over, 'You're going to qualify, you're going to qualify.' So we thought in another 30 days, another two weeks, another six weeks, we're going to qualify. That stretched out over four years," said McWhorter.

Steve Haskins, the attorney who filed the suit, told 10News, "These gentlemen are gay and are being treated differently because they cannot be married under California law. BofA could easily change its policy to conform to the civil rights statutes within the state of California, but they haven't."

McWhorter added, "I don't think anyone with any decision-making power at Bank of America has ever looked at our documents. I think they're just shuffling paper."

A corporate officer for the bank sent this statement to 10News:

Bank of America is committed to fair and equal treatment of all our customers, and will continue to focus on doing what's right for our customers, clients and communities. The U.S. Department of Treasury's Home Affordable Modification Program guidelines permit all non-borrower occupants to be included in the household income as long as that income is documented. We are currently reviewing this file and will contact Mr. McWhorter's representative in order to address this issue.

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