Today, DACA recipient Ruben Juarez filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against SoFi, a major online personal finance company, on behalf of himself and other DACA recipients who were denied access to a variety of consumer credit, including student loans, personal loans, and home mortgages. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco by Outten & Golden LLP and Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR), alleges that SoFi systematically denies and limits DACA recipients’ access to lending and refinancing opportunities and that such restrictions are unlawful under federal and California civil rights law.
Since DACA was enacted in 2012, Mr. Juarez and other DACA recipients, though deeply settled and embedded in American life, have faced significant discrimination and hardship in securing equal access to financial and lending services. Restricting their access to credit places them in an unfair second-class status where they are unable to fully realize their educational and professional development, DACA’s express goals.
Michael N. Litrownik, Counsel at Outten & Golden LLP, said, “Lenders should be held accountable when they unfairly limit access to consumer credit and refuse to consider applicants’ actual creditworthiness.”
Oren Nimni, Staff Attorney at LCR, said, “DACA recipients are vital members of our communities. Their exclusion undermines significant taxpayer and community investment in their future and deprives the country and economy of their contributions and talent. Such talent is more important than ever, since DACA recipients account for an estimated 200,000 essential frontline workers in combatting the coronavirus pandemic.”
The legal team for Mr. Juarez will seek to certify the case as a class action on behalf of all non-U.S. citizens who resided in the U.S. and had DACA at the time they applied and were denied or unsuccessfully sought to apply for any SoFi consumer loan or refinancing opportunity.
The class action lawsuit, Juarez v. Social Finance, Inc., No. 20-cv-03386, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the base of SoFi’s corporate offices. More information is available at: https://www.sofilendingdiscrimination.com/.