A New Jersey family is suing Sun National Bank, alleging that the bank forced a new mother to return to work from maternity leave almost two months early in order to qualify for a mortgage.
According to the lawsuit, the Patricia and Paul Applegate had a child in October of 2012. On Jan. 17, 2013 the new family was pre-approved for a mortgage from Sun National. But weeks later on Feb. 12, Sun National sent a letter to the Applegates saying “the underwriters are requiring that you be back at work before closing.”
The letter states concerns from Sun National that Patricia Applegate might not return to work, therefore changing the conditions on which the family’s mortgage was approved. But according to the Applegate’s lawyer Matthew Weisberg, the bank’s demand is ridiculous. Not only did the family have plenty of money saved up, Weisberg says, but Applegate had no intentions of not returning to work at her leave’s end.
“Just when we thought lenders could not become any more abusive, a lender forcing a woman to choose between her all-too-important time with her newborn ... and the ability to buy a new home for her family is deplorable,” Weisberg said.
The lawsuit contends that Sun National’s demand violates numerous state and federal laws, including the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the Federal Fair Housing Act. Patricia Applegate was forced to return to work on March 1, 2013 in order to provide the demanded new pay stub before the mortgage’s closing date.
The lawsuit claims the bank’s demands “robbed” Patricia of “special and precious time with her child.” In total, the family is seeking nearly $300,000 in damages.