Since 2010 Department of Housing and Urban Development has investigated 179 claims that banks have denied mortgages to couples on the basis of the fact that the woman was on maternity leave. Banks who have engaged in this illegal practice have had to pay out settlements to couples.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits unequal treatment on the basis of gender or familial status. Apparently some lenders don't know the law, as one of the couples in the article were told flat out that the reason their application to refinance their mortgage was rejected was the woman's upcoming maternity leave.