They say they were denied units because of race.
In the suit, James Ra-Amari, his wife, Misty Ra-Amari, and Misty’s sister, Rosemary Afful, say Realtor Josie Lin “immediately” “showed reluctance” when she expressed interest in buying the trio with them. three homes in Grand West Condos, Katy, Texas, west of Houston.
According to the lawsuit, Lin told the Ra-Amaris that they would not be able to secure a Fannie Mae mortgage loan for the unit “due to the condominium’s owner-occupancy ratio.”
In court documents, the plaintiffs say they never expressed a desire for Fannie Mae financing.
“I’ve been in real estate for over 15 years, and I’ve never experienced anything like this,” Misty Ra-Amari told CNN.
Lin and Grand West Condos declined CNN’s request for comment.
Ra-Amaris and Afful filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against Lin on Friday; Lin Company, UMRE; Grand West Condominiums; Grand West Residential Condominium Association, Inc.; United Real Estate Management; and RE/MAX and EXP Reality, two real estate brokerages.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that a Grand West Condos information package marketed the complex as “a new option for the Chinese and Asian communities.”
According to the lawsuit, Lin told the plaintiffs that “all of the current owners were personal friends and knew each other.”
The plaintiffs claim $2 million in economic damages and additional, special and punitive damages for extreme mental and emotional distress.
Court documents obtained by CNN include an undated flyer advertising the open house at the condominium complex, and Lin is listed as an agent for RE/MAX United.
RE/MAX told CNN in a statement that Lin had no affiliation with the company since December 2021 and “had no connection to the RE/MAX brand at the time of this alleged incident.”
CNN has reached out to United Property Management and EXP Realty for comment. Among the defendants are those who the plaintiffs say Lin was acting as their agent at the time of the incident.
The Ra-Amaris say interest in buying units at Grand West Condos has not waned.
“We’re still interested in buying in that community because there’s growth there,” James Ra-Amari told CNN. “I will not allow anyone to distract my wife and I from accomplishing the goals we have set.”