One can meet all of the expectations and qualifications yet still possibly be denied access to wealth-building strategies simply due to the color of their skin.
According to CNN, a total of three Black real estate investors have officially filed a discrimination lawsuit against a real estate agent after claiming that she refused them the option to purchase three condominiums in a newly constructed community in Houston, TX.
Per the court documents, James Ra-Amari, his wife, Misty Ra-Amari, and her sister, Rosemary Afful allege that a realtor by the name of Josie Lin “immediately showed reluctance to interact” with the trio after they expressed a desire to buy three condo units at Grand West Condos located in Katy, TX.
“I’ve been in real estate for over 15 years, and I’ve never experienced anything like that,” said Misty, according to the outlet.
CNN reports the suit reveals that Lin told the group that they would not be able to secure a Fannie Mae mortgage loan for the units due to the “owner-occupancy ratio of the condominiums.”
However, the suit says that the plaintiffs never expressed a desire to finance through the mortgage company.
In the federal discrimination lawsuit that was filed on Friday (Sept. 16), both the Ra-Amaris and Afful are listed as plaintiffs, while the defendants include Lin, Lin’s company, URME, Grand West Condominiums, Grand West Residential Condominium Association, Inc., United Property Management, and real estate brokerages RE/MAX and EXP Realty.
The suit alleges that the plaintiffs were told by Lin that “all the current owners were personal friends and knew each other.” It also includes an advertisement flyer for an open house at the complex where Lin is listed as RE/Max United agent, but the brokerage company suggests otherwise.
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In a statement to CNN, RE/MAX said that Lin has not had ties to the company since December 2021. Furthermore, they say she “had no affiliation with the RE/MAX brand in any way at the time of this alleged occurrence.”
At this time, the Ra-Amaris and Afful are seeking $2 million in economic damages and additional compensatory, special and punitive damages for extreme mental anguish and emotional distress.
Yet, they still have not given up hope of someday owning units at Grand West Condos.
“We’re still interested in purchasing in that community because there’s growth there,” James expressed to CNN. “I’m not going to allow anyone to distract my wife and me from accomplishing the goals that we’ve set in place.”