But suitability standards create special obstacles for mortgage loan originators because they not only interfere with an individual borrower's right to make his own financial decisions about the type of mortgage that he wants, but they also contradict Fair Housing laws which require that originators treat all borrowers the same by providing equal access and opportunity to housing for all borrowers. If we are held accountable for making sure that a borrower's loan is "suitable" for his situation, how can we provide all borrowers equal access to housing? Simply put, we can't.
The Equal Credit laws were created so that loan originators cannot make arbitrary decisions about an individual's credit worthiness based on race, religion, sexual orientation, age or familial status. Under the standards set by those laws, borrowers either qualify based on guidelines or they don't. It is not the loan originator's job (or right) to make further determinations about their overall worthiness to purchase a home or to refinance a home. We can give advice (as I often have based on experience when I see someone making a decision I think might be unwise). But in the end the decision is the borrowers--not mine. And that is exactly as it should be. After all, the borrower is the one making the payment.
Where does it stop? If we can determine for another person what home loan is suitable, who is to say that someone will not determine for all of us what other choices we can make? And as give up the responsibility for our choices, we also give up the freedom to make decisions which can benefit us in the future.