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AFTER 20 YEARS, UNION BANK’S ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY MORTGAGE EXTENDS AFFORDABLE HOME OWNERSHIP TO THOUSANDS OF BORROWERS


Union Bank's Economic Opportunity Mortgage Podcast


 


For Immediate Release


Contacts: 
Daniel Weidman
(213) 236-4050
daniel.weidman@unionbank.com

Jane Yedinak
(415) 765-3241
jane.yedinak@unionbank.com


Mortgage designed for low-to-moderate income borrowers launched 20 years ago this month - more than $2 billion in loans originated since program’s inception  
 

SAN FRANCISCO, May 31, 2011 - Since the early 1990's, borrowers with limited resources and little or no established credit have been able to buy homes through the Economic Opportunity Mortgage (EOM) program at Union Bank, N.A. Recent revisions to the program's eligibility requirements now enable even more borrowers to qualify for EOM loans.

Union Bank has originated more than $2 billion EOM loans since the EOM program was launched in 1991. The bank has $644 million in its EOM portfolio as of December 31, 2010. Last year, Union Bank provided more than $131 million in EOM mortgages.

"The EOM program was designed with low-to-moderate-income borrowers in mind," said Executive Vice President James H. Francis, Union Bank's head of consumer lending. "Its structure promotes home ownership and the growth of equity, while also ensuring that borrowers will be able to repay their loan. Recent EOM program revisions allow Union Bank to offer EOM loans to even more borrowers, which helps bridge the affordability gap and foster home ownership within our communities." 

Under the revised EOM program eligibility requirements, the borrower's stable annual household income must be 120 percent of the median income in the census tract where he or she is buying or refinancing. For example, in 2011, the maximum income to qualify is $75,600 in Los Angeles County.  Some counties in Oregon and Washington require the borrower's income to be within 80 percent of the median.

The EOM program's financing terms have been updated. Now, borrowers can finance purchases and no cash-out refinances up to 95 percent in some areas, up from 90 percent. Also, borrowers can have a combined loan-to-value (CLTV) of up to 102 percent with approved Down Payment Assistance Programs (DAPs).

EOM borrowers receive a fixed interest rate that gives them a predictable monthly payment for full term of their loan. Plus, private mortgage insurance is not required if the borrower makes a down payment of at least five percent, down from the previous 10 percent requirement, providing the borrower an opportunity to save more money.

"Our EOM loans enable borrowers to purchase a home with very little money down, without having to take out private mortgage insurance or pay standard lender fees or points," said Francis. "The EOM program has helped many first-time buyers become homeowners and is an alternative to government-backed loans. For those who have mortgages and may have a problem making their payments down the road, this may be a good way to refinance into a better situation."

The bank has expanded its underwriting criteria for EOM loans. Union Bank’s EOM program considers alternative credit items such as utility bills and rent payments when making a decision on EOM mortgages.

All EOMs are held and serviced by Union Bank. "This is important because if any of these borrowers run into serious delinquency or financial hardship, we have a number of ways to assist customers in retaining their homes," said Francis.

Union Bank's Community Lending Officers are familiar both with the EOM program and with a variety of resources that might be available to a potential homeowner, such as DAPs offered by state housing financing agencies, state and federal grants programs, and homeownership counseling. To learn more about the EOM program, visit. www.unionbank.com/EOM.

About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $80.6 billion at March 31, 2011. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 401 banking offices in California, Washington, Oregon and Texas, as well as two international offices, on March 31, 2011. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations. Visit www.unionbank.com for more information.