Companies To Collaborate With Alabama Rural Action Commission and Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc.
Montgomery, AL – May, 5 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — Synovus Mortgage Corp. (Synovus) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) announce a new first-time homebuyer campaign in conjunction with two regional Alabama organizations. The new Initiative provides a grassroots campaign to demystify the homeownership process for families in four of the 12 counties that make up Central Alabama. The Facts of Central Alabama Homeownership Initiative involves community outreach, homebuying tips, and free workshops designed to break down barriers of misinformation that keep many individuals from considering homeownership.
Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc., (CSP) will serve as the lead agency for the Initiative and will conduct Get the Facts! workshops, which were created by Freddie Mac. Through the workshops, participants are provided with straightforward information and advice about all aspects of homeownership, including costs associated with homebuying and credit history requirements. Participants are encouraged to ask questions as workshop facilitators help them separate fact from fiction. By the end of each workshop, it is hoped that participants will feel empowered, with a sense that they might be able to achieve the dream of homeownership.
Alabama Rural Action Commission, the catalyst for creating this joint effort, will participate in marketing the Initiative and will assist in the organizing of related promotional and media events related to the Facts of Central Alabama Homeownership Initiative. Governor Bob Riley formed this Commission with a mission to measurably improve the quality of life in Alabama’s rural areas.
“Home ownership is an American Dream, and so many believe they are not going to be able to reach that dream,” said Senator Gerald Dial, director of Alabama Rural Action Commission. “This program will answer so many questions that will dispel that belief. We feel like this program will provide a base for many new homeowners in a region that has often been overlooked. We are excited about the potential this program will provide in improving the quality of life in Rural Alabama. We appreciate the assistance we are receiving from Freddie Mac.”
Because of its strong commitment in working with underserved populations, representatives from Synovus Mortgage Corp. will participate in the workshops, explaining how to work with a lender and qualify for a mortgage. Synovus will provide flexible mortgage financing for eligible borrowers who have completed the required workshop, and Freddie Mac will then buy eligible loans from Synovus.
“In this especially challenging housing market, it is more important than ever that potential homeowners get the facts about the opportunities and responsibilities of home ownership,”said Mike Padalino, Synovus Mortgage Corp. president and CEO. “We are honored to be a partner in this effort to continue our company’s philosophy to make positive contributions and investments in the communities where we live and do business.”
“The strength of this educational campaign is the public and private organizations working together in the community to address the barriers faced by potential homebuyers,”said Craig Nickerson, vice president of Freddie Mac. “Freddie Mac is pleased to be working with Synovus, CSP and Alabama Rural Action Commission to reach people who may be facing obstacles to buying a home.”
Freddie Mac created the Get the Facts! workshops based upon results of research that revealed that reliable, accurate information about homebuying may not be reaching minority communities. The research uncovered several common misconceptions about homebuying among African Americans and Latinos. For example, about 40 percent of African Americans and Latinos believe that they need a 20 percent down payment to buy a home, and more than half believe that they need almost perfect credit to get a loan. In addition, more than half of African Americans and Latinos believe that they must have the same job for at least three years to get a loan.
“First time homebuyers often have lots of questions and fears about financing a home,”said Cynthia W. Burton, executive director of Community Service Programs of West Alabama. “Many people believe homeownership is out of their reach because of common misconceptions. But through this partnership, Community Service Programs of West Alabama will deliver homebuyer’s education that is meant to dispel these myths and help families take that first step in achieving the personal and financial rewards of homeownership.”
For more information or to register for a Get the Facts! workshop, contact Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc. at 205-758-7229.
Synovus (NYSE: “SNV”) is a financial services holding company with approximately $33 billion in assets based in Columbus, Georgia. Synovus provides commercial and retail banking, as well as investment services, to customers through 36 banks, 440 ATMs, and other Synovus offices in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. The company focuses on its unique decentralized customer delivery model, position in high-growth Southeast markets and commitment to being a great place to work to ensure the delivery of unparalleled customer experiences. See Synovus on the web at www.synovus.com.
The mission of the Alabama Rural Action Commission is to measurably improve the quality of life in Alabama’s rural areas by working with citizens of Alabama and any other supportive parties. The Alabama Rural Action Commission is modeled after the Black Belt Action Commission that was created by Governor Riley in 2004. The success of the action commission model led Governor Riley to create the Alabama Rural Action Commission as a statewide initiative.
Incorporated in 1967, Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc., has had an uninterrupted forty years of experience in effective management of a variety of social service and related programs in West Alabama. CSP has developed a service delivery system that delivers the immediate services to help families out of crisis situations and also helps families achieve self-sufficiency and begin to build assets.
Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation established by Congress in 1970 to support homeownership and rental housing. Freddie Mac purchases single-family and multifamily residential mortgages and mortgage-related securities, which it finances primarily by issuing mortgage-related securities and debt instruments in the capital markets. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible more than 50 million times, ensuring financing for one in six homebuyers and more than four million renters.