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MHP recognizes bank for longtime support of SoftSecond

Posted on May 15, 2008

BOSTON, May 15, 2008 --- The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) has recognized Bank of America for its outstanding work in helping low- and moderate-income families purchase their first home through the state’s SoftSecond Loan Program.

MHP presented a “Second to None” Award to Bank of America at a May 7 ceremony honoring the SoftSecond Loan Program’s 10,000th homebuyer. The bank was recognized for being the top SoftSecond lender in Boston in 2007 (82) and for being the top overall SoftSecond lender in Massachusetts (4602).

“The Patrick Administration understands that hard-working families need safe, low-cost mortgages, especially in the wake of problems caused by sub-prime mortgages, “ said Patrick Administration housing chief Tina Brooks. “Thanks to strong, supportive and longtime partners like Bank of America, SoftSecond continues to be a wonderful option for first-time homebuyers.”

Bank of America made the loan to the progam’s 10,000th homebuyers, Andrew and Hyacinth Doman of Dorchester. Parents of four children, the Domans came to Boston from Jamaica in 1989 and had been renting until they bought a home last year. Andrew Doman drives a cab and Hyacinth Doman drives a train for the MBTA.

“Bank of America congratulates the Doman family on realizing the dream of homeownership,” said William Fenton, Bank of America Massachusetts Senior Vice President. “We have seen through them and thousands like them the long-term stability SoftSecond offers working families and we’re very gratified to receive recognition for our long-term support of SoftSecond.”

SoftSecond combines a first and second mortgage from a bank with a small state subsidy, thereby lowering a borrower’s monthly mortgage payment by about 20 percent. Unlike sub-prime mortgage products, SoftSecond loans are fixed-rate. Borrowers must also take pre-and post-purchase homebuyer classes.  SoftSecond delinquent payment and foreclosure rates are lower than other loan programs, with a below average delinquency rate of 1.9 percent and a foreclosure rate of 0.36 percent.

The SoftSecond program was created in 1990 to give low- and moderate-income families better access to mortgage financing.  In 2007, SoftSecond set a program record for single loans in a year (1147), surpassing the previous high of 913 in 2004. The average income of a SoftSecond borrower is $49,639.