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Six New York banks form home mortgage coalition.

In a continued commitment to increase the availability of home mortgages in low and moderate income communities, six major New York banks today announced the formation of the New York Mortgage Coalition.

The condition, whose initial members are Bank Popular, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chemical Bank, Citibank, National Westminster Bank U.S.A. and Republic National Bank of New York, represents a commitment on the part of the participants to an affirmative, affordable mortgage program, with a major thrust to increase the access of minority applicants to mortgage funding. This coalition is open to all banks and mortgage lenders and in the near future, it is anticipated that others will join the coalition.

The primary goal of the coalition, whose members have been working on this project for several months, is to increase home ownership in low and moderate income communities in New York City and surrounding counties by:

* Working with non-profit organizations in the region to provide homeowner counseling that assists first time homebuyers in low and moderate income communities to qualify for mortgages

* Creating a mortgage review committee comprised of the coalition members to give special attention to potential homebuyers that participate in the homeowner counseling programs: before any loan is rejected, the review committee will provide a forum to allow all mortgage lenders in the coalition the opportunity to consider the mortgage application for approval

Each of the six banks has developed or will develop its own mortgage products that encompass many of the following features:

* Down payments as low as 5 percent (for one and two family owner-occupied homes)

* Lower up-front fees and costs

* Flexibility in underwriting criteria, including such items as debt to income ratios, payment reserves and limited credit histories

The homeowner counseling will assist potential homeowners in qualifying for mortgages, developing and documenting credit histories, setting up plans to save for down payments and understanding the obligations of home ownership. The counseling programs will also direct mortgage applicants to coalition members that offer appropriate mortgage products and will act as advocates on behalf of the mortgage applicants.

Through the review committee, the coalition members believe they can substantially increase the opportunity to obtain mortgages for these targeted applicants. In addition, the information gained by reviewing declined applications will help die coalition members to better understand the obstacles to home ownership that minority and lower income homebuyers are facing.
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Title Annotation:Republic National Bank of New York, Banco Popular, National Westminster Bank U.S.A., Manhattan Bank, Citibank and Chemical Bank form New York Mortgage Coalition
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 20, 1992
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