Before I explain that question, let me ask you this one: "How long have you been in the business?" Ever have someone ask you that? Here's my answer, and it will really make you think!
I was in the business before we had the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). ECOA went into law in 1976, and protects against discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex or marital status, or age.
So, you ask???
Well, when I was first in this business, if I were taking a loan application from a married couple that were of child bearing age and they wanted her income to be taken into consideration, I would have to document their birth control procedures!!
Yep! That's right! A letter signed by the two of them certifying they did not intend to have children, why, and then explaining their form of birth control would sometimes suffice, but not always! Imagine having to ask THAT question at the face to face loan application (which a face to face was the only kind of loan application we could accept)! Remember, back then maternity leave was not protected by law. Thus, if the wife were to get pregnant, there would be no guarantee that she would get her job back. So job stability could not be established, disallowing the income from being taken into consideration.
And to think today we're all uptight about a new Good Faith Estimate and HUD!
"We've come a long way, baby!" (Do you know what advertisement that line was used in?)
This post is included in the brand new "Financing Friday" group, which we invite you to join.