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Lenders One Member Sells First Home Affordable Refinance Loan to Fannie Mae.

Dubuque Bank & Trust Expanding Refinance Opportunities

ST. LOUIS -- Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative, a national alliance of mortgage bankers, announced that on April 1, 2009, one of its members became the first institution in the country to sell a Refi Plus[TM] loan to Fannie Mae. Iowa-based Dubuque Bank & Trust (DB&T), a subsidiary of Heartland Financial USA Inc., is using the program to help borrowers remain in their homes by reducing their monthly payments and/or refinancing into a fixed-rate loan product.

"As part of recent initiatives to help alleviate foreclosures, the Refi Plus program allows lenders to expand their refinance opportunities and preserve homeownership at a greater rate. This is both an outstanding achievement and a great civic-minded act," said Scott Stern, Lenders One CEO.

Management at DB&T appreciates the benefits of the Refi Plus program, which allow financial institutions to better retain mortgage customers through an effective, quick refinance option.

"The Refi Plus program allows more efficient, cost-effective refinancing for borrowers," Tom Goric, vice president at Dubuque Bank & Trust, explained. "Loans are delivered faster and at lower cost, as the new guidelines broaden the scope of who can be helped in today's harsh economic climate."

Anticipating the availability of Refi Plus, DB&T waited for the program's launch to deliver a specific loan, knowing that it would qualify.

Refi Plus is new under President Obama's Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, which is designed to streamline the refinance process of existing Fannie Mae-funded mortgage loans.

The goal is to extend the option of refinancing to more struggling homeowners. To achieve this, Fannie Mae has loosened refinance requirements, such as lowering the acceptable credit score, reducing documentation of income and in some cases waiving the requirement of an appraisal.

About Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative

Lenders One is a national alliance of mortgage bankers which was established in 2000 and is based in St. Louis. With more than 125 members originating $40 billion in mortgage loans annually, the Lenders One alliance ranks as the ninth largest mortgage originator in the U.S. Lenders One leverages its aggregate buying power and preferred-investor relationships to negotiate better lending terms and provide premium business services at reduced costs. Its mortgage productivity system additionally allows members to close more loans, satisfy continuing education requirements and market themselves more powerfully. For more information about membership, contact Tim Stern 866-728-5678 or visit

About Dubuque Bank & Trust

Dubuque Bank & Trust (DB&T), with more than $1 billion in assets, is the flagship bank of Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTLF), a $3.7 billion financial services company with 61 banking locations in 41 communities in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Colorado and Minnesota. DB&T serves thousands of customers in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and other states. It's among Iowa's 10 largest banking institutions.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 5, 2009
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