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Program Provides Up to Half of Down Payment

Federal Home Loan Bank program announced

Jan. 25, 2011

By SAM GARCIA Mortgage Daily

An organization that is sponsored by the government is helping first-time homebuyers in the Southeast with up to half of their down payments.

The program, announced Tuesday, matches cash down payments being made by first-time homebuyers.

Up to $7,500 per household is available.

The program is available to prospective borrowers who obtain their loans through one of the more than 1,100 banks that are members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta -- a government-sponsored enterprise.

Prospective borrowers can apply for the program through their institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

As much as $1 million per member bank can be accessed each year through the program, though funding is limited and will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis. A spokeswoman for the GSE declined to disclose the total amount available for the program.

The first-time homebuyer program was originally launched in 1997. Since that time, nearly $70 million has been contributed by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. That worked out to around 11,000 loans for approximately $980 million.

Borrowers are required to complete a homebuyer counseling program that includes courses on home ownership fundamentals as well as budgeting, mortgage financing and lending laws.

The contributed funds count towards the 3.5 percent minimum cash investment required by the National Housing Act section 203(b)(9)(A) for conventional mortgages, loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration and mortgages guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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