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Fannie, Freddie and FHLB news. Coverage of government sponsored enterprise regulation, operations and litigation.

GSE Providing Up to Half of Down Payments

FHLBank Atlanta contributing up to $7,500 per loan

Jan. 25, 2011

By staff

One of the government-sponsored enterprises is helping first-time homebuyers in the Southeast with up to half of their down payments.

The program, announced today, 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 a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.

The more than 1,100 members of the Atlanta FHLB are based in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

As much as $1 million per member 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 bank. That worked out to around 11,000 loans for approximately $980 million.

"The availability of First-time Homebuyer Program funds helps FHLBank Atlanta member institutions expand their customer base, originate new home mortgages and attract potential homebuyers," the news release stated.

Factoring in all 12 district banks, more than $4 billion has been contributed to affordable housing programs since 1990.

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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