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Joint Intent Documentation: Separate 1003s

Question: 
I have a question regarding joint intent, and documentation of such. If you have two unmarried borrowers - separate credit reports - is it required to have separate 1003s​ (applications)? If not, does joint intent apply according to the application or credit report (assuming they are run on different days). If they are required to have separate 1003s, does joint intent still apply and need to be documented?
Answer: 

By Randy Carey:

Banks control their own application processes. Whether you require joint unmarried applicants to complete separate 1003s is up to you. Joint intent is always required to be documented regardless of your application process.

Answer: 

by Dan Persfull:

Just be careful you do not run afoul of Reg. B's prohibition in treating applicants differently based on a prohibited basis which includes marital status.

Answer: 

by Jim Bedsole:

To be clear - if you require unmarried joint applicants to complete separate 1003 applications, but don't require married joint applicants to complete separate 1003 applications, that is discrimination based on marital status, which violates both ECOA/Regulation B.

Answer: 

by Randy Carey:

Well I'm not sure I would immediately jump to that conclusion. There may be a business case made that it is easier and less complicated for the applicants to complete separate forms since their assets and liabilities may or may not be coomingled.

Answer: 

by Jim Bedsole:

Notice I said "require". I certainly think it would be OK if you give both married and unmarried joint applicants a choice of completing separate 1003 applications or a joint 1003 application, depending on which is easier for them. But if you require one method for married applicants and another method for unmarried applicants, I'm not sure any "business case" justification can overcome the disparate treatment based on marital status.

First published on 11/08/2015

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