Originally published 1/24/2018 at 06:00a.m., updated 1/24/2018 at 06:00a.m.
New Carrollton The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced new loan and down payment assistance products and debuted a redesigned website for the Maryland Mortgage Program before an audience of lenders, realtors, counselors, mortgage insurers, and other program partners. New Maryland Mortgage Program products include a mortgage loan developed for borrowers with mid-range credit scores, a down payment assistance grant designed to be used with specific Freddie Mac mortgages, and the expansion of one of the department's existing grant programs for down payment assistance to make it applicable to more types of mortgages. These new initiatives will expand access to the program for lower income homebuyers as well as those struggling with credit issues, down payment, or closing costs.
"Homeownership strengthens Maryland's communities, and homebuying strengthens Maryland's economy," said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. "The Maryland Mortgage Program provides homebuyers with competitive rates and the peace of mind of a loan backed by the State of Maryland. In particular, the program's down payment assistance options set our mortgage products apart from many other loans by helping to provide extra cash at settlement."
For down payment assistance, the department announced that the Maryland Mortgage Program's existing Maryland 4% Grant Assist can now be used for down payment assistance for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans as well as conventional, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) loans. In an effort to increase access to homeownership for lower income homebuyers, the department also announced the creation of the Maryland 6% Opportunity Grant for use by income-selected homebuyers with down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a home for Freddie Mac Housing Finance Agencies (HFA) Advantage mortgages only. The department also announced the new Maryland Credit 640 program which was developed to assist homebuyers with FICO scores in the 640-659 range with purchasing a home in Maryland. Along with these program enhancements, the department also highlighted its efforts to streamline processes for program lending partners and a new program website, http://mmp.maryland.gov, redesigned to be more user-friendly and responsive for customers.
The department presented the new enhancements and processes before an audience of nearly 300 program partners at the Westin Annapolis hotel on January 19. In addition to remarks from Secretary Holt and program announcements from Assistant Secretary and Community Development Administration Director Matthew Heckles, attendees had an opportunity to hear from Boyd Campbell, president of the Maryland REALTORS and Ernie Grue, member of the Board of Governors for the Maryland Mortgage Bankers & Brokers Association, two partner organizations that are key supporters of the Maryland Mortgage Program. The department also honored its top four performing lender partners - First Home Mortgage Corporation, PrimeLending, George Mason Mortgage, and Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. For the third year in a row, Mr. Naji Rashid was recognized as the Maryland Mortgage Program's top producing realtor.
The Maryland Mortgage Program has been the state's flagship homeownership program for more than 35 years, providing fixed-rate mortgages, primarily to first-time homebuyers, along with down payment and closing cost incentives. From Fiscal Year 2015 through Fiscal Year 2017, the Maryland Mortgage Program assisted more than 7,800 homebuyers with mortgages valued at over $1.5 billion and over $39 million in down payment assistance. For more information about the program and its new initiatives, visit http://mmp.maryland.gov.