Diamond News

Magdalene Altidor lost her home to foreclosure during the subprime mortgage crisis, but this week she was first in line at a four-day event in Miami where borrowers with poor credit were offered no-down payment, low interest rate loans.

"I left home, it was about 4am," she laughed. "I'm ready to purchase a home."

The event is one of several being held in cities across America this year, run by the non-profit, Boston-based brokerage, Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, or NACA.

"It's a national disgrace about the low amount of homeownership, mortgages for low and moderate income people and for minority home buyers," said Bruce Marks, CEO of NACA. "In the loans that we've originated in the past 6 years, zero foreclosures."

Marks and NACA were front and center during the subprime mortgage crisis, holding mass mortgage modification events across the country with banks and servicers. Bank of America was there then and Bank of America[1] is with NACA now, backing the program with 10 billion dollars in mortgage commitments.

"It's total upside," said AJ Barkley, senior vice president of consumer lending with Bank of America. "We have seen significant wins in this partnership. Just to be clear, when we get those loans with all the heavy lifting here, we're over a 90 percent approval, meaning 90 percent of the people who go through this program that we actually underwrite the loans."

Borrowers can have low credit scores, but have to go through an education session about the program, submit all necessary documents, from income statements to phone bills. Then they go through counseling to understand their monthly budget and ensure they can afford the mortgage payment. The loans are 15 or 30 year fixed with interest...

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