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WASHINGTON-Credit unions seeking increased penetration in the low-income mortgage market need look no further than CUNA’s Home Loan Payment Relief (HLPR-”helper”) program. CUNA kicked off the program officially with a press conference at the National Press Club just prior to the hearing on credit unions’ tax-exempt status. At the launching, 61 credit unions had pledged $768 million as of Oct. 31. Through Dec. 7, those figures expanded to 79 credit unions and $835 million. The two largest pledges remain Navy Federal Credit Union’s $125 million $100 million. The program, which provides a three-year adjustable rate mortgage capped at 1% annual increases, hopes to reach $10 billion within five years. The loans start at 1% below the market price and cannot increase more than 5% above the initial rate. Three-percent is the maximum required downpayment and participating credit unions are encouraged to reduce closing costs, private mortgages insurance costs, and/or other related fees. The appropriate regulators and secondary market agencies have reviewed HLPR in the interest of compliance. -

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