Bolivar, MO asked in Banking for Missouri

Q: I feel discriminated at my bank because of my financial status and nationality. Do these reasons have legal merit?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Yes, discrimination based on financial status or nationality when banking could potentially have legal merit, depending on the specifics. Here are some key points about banking discrimination protections that may apply:

Financial Status:

- There is no specific Missouri law prohibiting discrimination by banks against customers due to income level, credit status, financial history alone. Federal laws provide some protections.

Nationality/National Origin:

- Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, denying banking services or offering different terms for a loan or account due to someone's nationality, ancestry, ethnic background or place of origin is prohibited.

- Missouri's Human Rights Act also prohibits discrimination in financial transactions/banking based on national origin protections

Documentation Needed:

- Keep records of any statements, policies, terms discussions where the bank treats you differently and correlates it to your financial position or nationality when compared to other customers.

Actions to Take:

- File complaints with Federal Reserve and Missouri Division of Finance documenting unfair treatment due to income level or nationality and requesting investigation for discriminatory policies.

- Consult with a consumer rights attorney regarding specifics of your situation. If enough evidence of disparate treatment/impact related to your financial status or nationality exists, legal options may be available.

The key is having specific examples of how the bank's decisions, conditions, requirements negatively impacted you compared to other customers due to these protected characteristics. This strengthens claims of illegal discrimination under both federal and Missouri state law.

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