When a white friend posed as the owner of a Black couple’s home, their home appraisal increased.
Court documents show Tenisha Tate-Austin and Paul Austin were interested in refinancing their California home in 2020.
The couple pumped thousands of dollars in renovations, which also increased the square footage of the home.
Afterward, through AMC Links, they hired licensed real estate appraiser Janette Miller, who valued the property at $995,000.
The couple felt Miller considered their race when she valued the home. To prove this, they “white-washed” their home, and asked their white friend to act as the homeowner during the inspection.
This time the inspection conducted by a different appraiser several weeks later valued the home at $1,482,500.
“Having to erase our identity to get a better appraisal was a wrenching experience,” homeowner Tenisha Tate-Austin said in a statement, according to NBC News. “We know of other Black families who either couldn’t get a loan because of a discriminatory appraisal and therefore either lost the opportunity to buy or sell a home, or they had to sell their home because they had an unaffordable loan.”
The couple have now settled for “an undisclosed monetary amount” and the defendants in the lawsuit will also be obligated to watch a documentary titled, “Our America: Lowballed,” attend a training session centered on racial discrimination in real estate, and vow “not to discriminate in the future.”