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MERRILL LYNCH LAUNCHES NEW 100 PERCENT MORTGAGE PROGRAM FOR HOME PURCHASE OR REFINANCE

 NEW YORK, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The new Mortgage 100(SM) program, which enables qualified homeowners to borrow 100 percent of the purchase price of a new home, or refinance 100 percent of the current market value of an existing residence, was launched today by Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation, the consumer credit and mortgage financing subsidiary of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MER).
 The new Mortgage 100 program is being introduced initially in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Florida.
 The Mortgage 100 program is designed for qualified homeowners or home buyers who want to finance 100 percent of the value of their residence. The program eliminates the need to liquidate assets for a down payment, enabling investors to keep those assets working and their financial strategies intact. The down payment is eliminated by pledging eligible securities to Merrill Lynch which are held as collateral in a special brokerage account.
 "With this program, home buyers do not have to disrupt their investment portfolios to purchase a new home," says Michael A. Johnston, chairman of Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation of Jacksonville, Fla. "Now," he says, "buying a $500,000 home no longer requires pulling $100,000 from a long term investment program or disturbing other assets for a down payment. These funds can remain invested and continue to work toward achieving other important financial goals.
 "What's more," Johnston adds, "the Mortgage 100 program may help defer any capital gains taxes that would be incurred as a result of liquidating assets for a down payment."
 Home buyers who sell investments from their portfolio to purchase a home may be taxed as much as 31 percent on the capital gains. To make a down payment of $100,000 for example, a home purchaser may ultimately have to sell investments valued at perhaps as much as $120,000 or more.
 Refinancing Flexibility Even If Home Value Has Declined
 The Mortgage 100 program also benefits homeowners who have been unable to refinance a high rate mortgage because their home value has declined to a point where the current market value may be close to the balance of their existing mortgage. With the Mortgage 100 program, these homeowners can refinance the entire amount of their mortgage, up to the current value of their residence. This enables homeowners to take full advantage of the lowest mortgage rates in over 19 years, without having to liquidate investments to pay down their current mortgage balance.
 Today, property values may be significantly lower than in the late 1980s -- especially on the East and West coasts. For example, according to the National Association of Realtors, since 1989 average home sale prices on Long Island, N.Y. experienced an average decline of 8.1 percent. And the Connecticut Association of Realtors reports that average home sale prices in parts of Connecticut have decreased by as much as 29.3 percent.
 According to Charles A. Humm, senior vice president, marketing, Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation, "Many who purchased homes during the late 1980s real estate boom simply can't refinance without bringing large amounts of cash to the closing table because home values in some areas have declined drastically over the past few years. This poses an especially large hurdle. Now, homeowners do not have to choose whether to continue to hold a mortgage with an interest rate of 10 percent or more, or liquidate a significant amount of their investments."
 How The Mortgage 100 Program Works
 With the Mortgage 100 program, Merrill Lynch will advance the funds for 100 percent of the purchase price or current value of a home. The only cash required is for the costs associated with establishing the mortgage.
 Homeowners pledge eligible securities as additional collateral which will be held in a special Mortgage 100 brokerage account. The homeowner's obligation with respect to the pledged securities will not exceed 30 percent of the mortgage amount -- known as the "pledge amount." However, since all securities fluctuate in value, the securities pledged must have an initial market value at least 30 percent greater than the "pledge amount."
 There are no set-up costs or annual fees for the Mortgage 100 brokerage account. The only up-front costs are the mortgage application fee, origination fee and normal mortgage closing costs.
 Initially, the Mortgage 100 program is available with Merrill Lynch's PrimeFirst(R) prime-based mortgage and Mortgage Portfolio jumbo fixed rate mortgage only. Each mortgage, when used with the Mortgage 100 program, will have an interest rate a half percent higher than the rate for the mortgage if used with a down payment.
 Mr. Johnston says, "The Mortgage 100 program demonstrates Merrill Lynch's commitment to provide our financial consultants with the resources to hits mortgage and private banking sector in this direction."
 Information on the new 100 percent financing program is available from Financial Consultants at Merrill Lynch offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Florida or by calling Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation at 800-854-7154.
 Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., has been meeting the financing needs of Merrill Lynch clients for more than 10 years. In 1982, Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation pioneered the home equity credit line category with the introduction of the Equity Access(R) account. Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation has been aggressively expanding its mortgage product line to better meet the home financing needs of Merrill Lynch clients. Today, Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation has a broad range of mortgage alternatives available in more than 40 states including its highly successful PrimeFirst(R) mortgage and Parent Power(SM) mortgage program.
 -0- 1/19/93
 /CONTACT: Fred Yager of Merrill Lynch, 212-449-7355/
 (MER)


CO: Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. ST: New York IN: FIN SU: PDT

SM-WB -- NY040 -- 6292 01/19/93 11:35 EST
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Date:Jan 19, 1993
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