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 ATLANTA, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank South (NASDAQ: BKSO) announced today a new Affordable Mortgage product that will allow borrowers to pay a minimal down payment of just 5 percent of the purchase price -- half of what traditional mortgages require.
 The product will become available on Nov. 15.
 The Bank South Affordable Mortgage is unlike mortgage products offered by other banks in that it provides borrowers the opportunity to become homeowners with less cash than is required by traditional mortgages, which typically feature a down payment and closing costs of approximately 10 percent.
 Bank South said the product illustrates the company's commitment to providing affordable, conventional fixed-rate mortgage loans for low-to- moderate income borrowers.
 "Our Affordable Mortgage product is one of the many concrete examples of Bank South's determination to ensure that we serve all our communities," said Matt Lewis, director of Community Development.
 "As the hometown bank we want to be sure that we offer mortgage products that are affordable to as many people as possible in the community," said Johnny Norris, executive vice president of Bank South Mortgage, Inc. "This product will benefit customers who can make monthly payments, but under traditional mortgage structures would lack the cash needed to make the down payment."
 The program also provides for flexibility when the customer seeks assistance making a down payment of 5 percent. Home buyers can pay a minimum of 3 percent from their own funds, with the remaining 2 percent coming as a gift from a relative, or as a grant from a non-profit organization or public entity. In addition, Bank South may provide unsecured financing for this remaining 2 percent down payment.
 Bank South will also pay all closing costs for the borrower in return for the loan being made at 1/2-percent above the market interest rate. This is an added benefit to borrowers who lack the cash to close a loan.
 The program was arranged by Bank South in conjunction with the regional office of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae).
 The Affordable Mortgage will be offered at competitive rates, with flexible underwriting guidelines in terms of household income requirements. The product is available in 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
 Borrowers will be asked to complete a Home Study Program prior to closing. Study materials for these programs will be available to Bank South Mortgage locations throughout metro Atlanta. These home study programs include "The Home Study Guide," provided by GE Mortgage Insurance Corporation and "A Guide to Home Ownership," provided by Fannie Mae.
 Lewis further cited the bank's ongoing commitment to affordable housing in the following statement:
 "Bank South recognizes that the need for affordable and supportive housing is one of the central concerns in any community and that the need is particularly acute in metro Atlanta.
 "Bank South believes that our proactive involvement in the areas of single-family affordable, multi-family affordable and supportive housing is vital to the success of our communities and our company.
 "Bank South recognizes our responsibility to do our fair share to address, through financing and financial assistance, the critical affordable and supportive housing needs of low-to-moderate income communities and homeless persons in our markets.
 "Bank South will continue to be involved with existing partnerships and will form new partnerships with public, private-for-profit and non- profit organizations to facilitate an increased supply of affordable and supportive housing for low-to-moderate income and homeless persons."
 As a new added convenience, Bank South mortgage customers in metro Atlanta can now make their monthly mortgage payments at any of Bank South's 81 area locations, including 37 InStore branches open seven days a week until 8 p.m.
 -0- 11/10/93
 /CONTACT: Bo Spalding of Bank South, 404-529-4238/

CO: Bank South Corporation ST: Georgia IN: FIN SU: PDT

RA-BR -- AT010 -- 2830 11/10/93 14:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1993
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