WATCH: Indiana Woman Files Discrimination Lawsuit After Her Home Received Higher Appraisal After She Removed Black Identifiers

Carlette Duffy

A Black woman in Indianapolis, Indiana, has filed a discrimination lawsuit after her home received a higher appraisal only after she got rid of anything that identified her blackness, and had a white man stand in for her during the appraisal visit.

Carlette Duffy said the value of her home jumped by more than $100,000 after she removed family photos, Black artwork and any Black-themed books. She filed housing discrimination complaints against two lenders in conjunction with the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI).

Duffy said she began the process of refinancing the mortgage on her home in a historically Black neighborhood last year because of the hot sales market. She planned to use the money to buy her grandparents’ home nearby. Duffy anticipated that the value of her home had increased since she bought it for $100,000 in 2017, estimating it was probably worth around $185,000 in 2020.

But the first appraisal in March last year valued her home at $125,000. A second, a couple of months later, came back at $110,000. Duffy had purchased a market analysis for her home that concluded a possible list price of $187,000. But when she provided it to the lenders, she was told the appraised amounts would not change.

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