- Includes five-year goal of $3 billion in mortgage loans for Phoenix homebuyers
- Offers Phoenix homebuyers the opportunity to attend a March 23-24 event at the Phoenix Convention Center where they can apply for Wells Fargo-funded down payment assistance grants and homebuyer support programs totaling $8 million
- At the event, NeighborWorks America and Phoenix-area non-profits will process applications for down payment assistance grants of up to $15,000 per homebuyer in the city of Phoenix through the Wells Fargo Foundation
- Phoenix event follows February NeighborhoodLIFTSM events in Los Angeles and Atlanta, and builds on company’s ‘Home Preservation Workshops,’ Wells Fargo’s signature, city-by-city effort focused on helping homeowners avoid foreclosure
- NeighborhoodLIFTSM events in Los Angeles and Atlanta have helped more than 640 potential homebuyers qualify for down payment assistance reservations totaling $16.4 million
PHOENIX - March 5, 2012
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), one of America’s leading community banks and the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, today announced that its NeighborhoodLIFTSM pilot program is coming to a third market, Phoenix, on March 23-24 at the Phoenix Convention Center, as it collaborates with city officials and non-profit organizations on helping this community overcome the effects of the country’s foreclosure crisis.
The company said the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program has been designed to help communities attract qualified, prospective homebuyers to neighborhoods struggling with high inventories of unsold homes. In Phoenix, this will include a five-year goal of $3 billion in mortgage purchase loans by Wells Fargo, and an $8 million investment the bank is making this year for down payment assistance grants and homebuyer support programs that help consumers achieve successful, sustainable home ownership.
Wells Fargo chose Phoenix as its third market for the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program based on the city’s high concentrations of homeowners, foreclosures, delinquencies, and overall housing inventory. Similar criteria resulted in Los Angeles and Atlanta becoming the program’s first pilot markets.
Two-day NeighborhoodLIFTSM events were held in each city in February that helped more than 640 prospective homebuyers qualify for down payment assistance reservations totaling up to $16.4 million.
“Though no one program will re-stabilize housing markets, the positive reception of the NeighborhoodLIFT program in Los Angeles and Atlanta encouraged us to expand this effort to Phoenix,” said Jon Campbell, Wells Fargo’s head of Social Responsibility. “As America’s largest mortgage lender, Wells Fargo knows there are Americans who want to take advantage of today’s great home values and historically low interest rates, but do not because of barriers to home ownership, such as affording a down payment. We hope this effort helps those aspiring to successful home ownership, and communities seeking to recover from the worst housing downturn in a generation.”
"This is a tremendous commitment by Wells Fargo to support homeowners and communities," said Eileen Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America, the national non-profit collaborating with Wells Fargo on NeighborhoodLIFTSM in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Phoenix. "This is the kind of public-private collaboration that can help communities tackle difficult challenges and families realize their goal of sustainable home ownership."
At the March 23-24 NeighborhoodLIFT event in Phoenix, prospective homebuyers will be able to apply for down payment assistance grants of up to $15,000, covering home and renovation financing, and to participate in homebuyer education sessions and tours of residential properties for sale in the Phoenix market. Representatives from Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, a NeighborWorks America affiliate, and the city of Phoenix will be on site to help with the processing of applications for grants and other services.
“The downturn in the economy has created challenges for many of our Phoenix citizens to become homeowners,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Everyone — corporations, nonprofits, the city, should step up to the plate on homeownership so we can get our housing market moving again. We are looking forward to collaborating with Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix on this important sustainable housing effort. It’s time to get Phoenix back on its feet, and we all can do that by helping our residents put down roots and make a commitment.”
Prospective homebuyers can register to attend the events at www.neighborhoodlift.com.
Helping Homeowners: Wells Fargo’s efforts to date
Since January 2009, Wells Fargo has contributed to efforts to stabilize housing markets through the following initiatives:
- Helped more than 5.4 million homeowners with low-rate loans, either to purchase a home or refinance their existing mortgage.
- Assisted 733,180 customers in obtaining trial or completed mortgage loan modifications that helped them avoid foreclosure. Sixteen percent of the modifications were conducted under the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
- Provided $4.1 billion in principal forgiveness on modified mortgages, and made an additional $800 million of principal forgiveness available that borrowers could earn through making timely mortgage payments over the next three years.
- Participated in more than 650 workshops focused on working face-to-face with customers seeking to avoid foreclosure. Since September 2009, Wells Fargo has hosted more than 55 of its own “Home Preservation Workshops,” which have been attended by 32,000 customers.
- Provided $23.4 million last year to community revitalization efforts through its Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. This included $5.53 million across 52 nonprofits through its Leading the Way Home® Program Priority Markets Initiative, which purchases and redevelops foreclosed and abandoned properties in neighborhoods hit hard by the housing downturn.
- Increased last year its financial commitment to non-profit credit and housing counseling agencies by $5.4 million to a total of $12.4 million – a 35 percent increase over the previous year. The investment helps sustain vital services for customers coping with financial challenges beyond their home payments.
Press release also is available in Spanish: Wells Fargo lanza el piloto “Neighborhood LIFT” en Phoenix (PDF)
About Neighborhood LIFTSM
The NeighborhoodLIFT SM program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Foundation, NeighborWorks America, an independent non-profit organization, and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFT SM program is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities deeply affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted at www.youtube.com/wellsfargo.‡
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 272,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
Danny Ischy 602-378-1049 firstname.lastname@example.org