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COUNTRYWIDE, FANNIE MAE TO PROVIDE $1.25 BILLION FOR LOW-INCOME AND MINORITY LENDING

 COUNTRYWIDE, FANNIE MAE TO PROVIDE $1.25 BILLION
 FOR LOW-INCOME AND MINORITY LENDING
 Program Includes Second Review for Rejected Applicants
 CHICAGO, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Countrywide Funding Corp. and Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) today announced an innovative $1.25 billion agreement, the largest commitment to date, to provide financing for low- and moderate-income and minority home buyers that will include a second review of rejected applicants.
 Named "House America," the Countrywide program's goal is to increase lending activity to lower-income and minority borrowers by delivering $1.25 billion in loans over the next 18 months under Fannie Mae's Neighborhood Investment and Community Home Buyer's programs. The program will pilot in 20 of Countrywide's retail branches and will be expanded to all its 103 retail branches within four months. The loan files of lower income and minority House America applicants rejected at the retail level will receive a second review by a special underwriting unit at Countrywide's headquarters in Pasadena, Calif.
 "We will make every effort to ensure that each borrower receives full consideration to qualify," said Countrywide President Angelo Mozilo. Mozilo announced the $1.25 billion commitment here at the Mortgage Bankers Association of America's Secondary Market Conference.
 "It is our goal to bring the American dream of home ownership to more families across the country," Mozilo said. "As far as I'm concerned, mortgage applications have and always will be void of color, ethnic background or sex. Together with Fannie Mae, we can improve the application and loan process for minorities and low- and moderate-income borrowers. We want to make more of these loans, and Fannie Mae wants to buy them."
 Larry Dale, Fannie Mae's executive director, National Housing Impact Division, said, "This commitment is an important expansion of both companies' efforts to make home loan credit more accessible to minorities and lower-income Americans. "We hope to use what Fannie Mae has learned about affordable housing and denial of mortgage credit to forge new approaches like this one," Dale said.
 Mozilo said that the objective of House America is to enhance Countrywide's lending to minority and lower-income borrowers by carefully evaluating special circumstances to identify non-standard qualifications of potentially creditworthy borrowers. If the mortgage loan is denied after the second review, Countrywide will refer the applicant to the counseling services provided through Fannie Mae's Community Home Buyers (CHB) program, with emphasis on the specific actions needed to obtain further loan approval.
 House America will be available immediately through the following 20 Countrywide retail branches: Downey, Fresno, Lakewood, Moreno Valley, Sacramento and Ventura, Calif.; Mesa, Tucson, and Phoenix, Ariz.; Milford, Conn.; Daytona Beach and Satellite Beach, Fla.; St. Louis, Mo.; Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.; Desoto and El Paso, Texas; Newport News and Virginia Beach, Va.; and Tacoma, Wash. The pilot branches will have marketing and advertising materials adapted to the individual needs of their local communities.
 Countrywide said it will make use of Fannie Mae's Fannie Maps program, a computerized mapping and data tool which helps lenders target their mortgage products to underserved neighborhoods in their lending area.
 House America will make loans under a variety of Fannie Mae programs such as CHB, which provides flexible underwriting criteria, including loans at 95 percent of the home's value, with a provision for a 3 percent down payment by the borrower and a 2 percent contribution from gifts or other assistance programs.
 Countrywide Funding Corp., the nation's largest mortgage banker, primarily originates and serves single-family home loans. Founded in 1969, Countrywide employs more than 2,000 people at its Pasadena headquarters and in retail and wholesale branches across the country.
 Fannie Mae, the USA's Housing Partner, is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company and the nation's largest investor in home mortgages.
 -0- 5/13/92
 /CONTACT: Laura Lippman of Countrywide Funding, 818-304-4422; or Gene Eisman of Fannie Mae, 202-752-6673/ CO: Countrywide Funding Corp.; Fannie Mae ST: Illinois, California IN: FIN SU:


DM-JL -- LA007 -- 9799 05/13/92 15:00 EDT
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Date:May 13, 1992
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