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Feds announce suit against mortgage insurance firm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it is suing the nation’s largest mortgage insurance company and two of its underwriters alleging discrimination against women on paid maternity leave.

Officials said the suit filed Tuesday in federal court in Pittsburgh alleges that Milwaukee-based Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. required women on paid maternity leave to return to work before the company would insure their mortgages.

The department said that could keep the women from getting home loans since most lenders require insurance from applicants seeking to borrow more than 80 percent of their home’s value.

Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division, said in a statement that the actions constitute discrimination barred by fair housing laws.

A company spokeswoman did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment Tuesday evening.

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