Wells Fargo brings NeighborhoodLIFT program to Orlando to help local housing market recover

$7 million effort includes homebuyer support, education, affordable home tours, and opportunity to qualify for up to $15,000 in down payment assistance to purchase an Orlando home
  • Includes $200 million in mortgage loans for Orlando homebuyers as part of $1.75 billion goal over five years in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville
  • Offers Orlando homebuyers the opportunity to attend a July 13-14 event at the Orange County Convention Center where they can apply for down payment assistance grants and participate in homebuyer support programs
  • At the event, NeighborWorks America and its local affiliates will determine income eligibility and help qualified prospective homeowners reserve down payment assistance grants of up to $15,000 per homebuyer in the City of Orlando
  • Following Orlando, NeighborhoodLIFTSM will be held in Jacksonville to build on company’s ‘Home Preservation Workshops,’ Wells Fargo’s signature, city-by-city effort focused on helping homeowners avoid foreclosure
  • NeighborhoodLIFTSM events in Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix have helped 1,662 potential homebuyers qualify for down payment assistance reservations totaling up to $31 million

ORLANDO - June 21, 2012

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), one of America’s leading community banks and the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, today announced that the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program, a major effort to help stabilize neighborhoods deeply affected by the foreclosure crisis, is coming to Orlando. The program will include a free large-scale homebuyer workshop on Friday and Saturday, July 13 & 14 at the Orange County Convention Center from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the NeighborhoodLIFTSMprogram at www.neighborhoodlift.org or by calling 866-858-2151. Pre-registration is encouraged but walk-ins are welcome.

The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program was created to help communities overcome the dual challenge of high inventories of unsold homes while providing assistance for prospective buyers. In Orlando, the program includes a five-year goal of $200 million in mortgage purchase loans by Wells Fargo, and a $7 million investment in 2012 for down payment assistance grants and homebuyer support programs to help consumers achieve successful, sustainable homeownership. Wells Fargo will collaborate with the City of Orlando, the non-profit organization NeighborWorks America, and its local Orlando affiliate will implement the program.

“We must do everything possible to help our families and residents during this time when the effects of the national recession continue to impact our community and prevent many citizens from achieving the American dream of homeownership,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “This partnership with Wells Fargo and InCharge Debt Solutions will provide our residents with much-needed aid and assistance during these tough economic times when families need it the most and give our housing market a needed boost.”

Orlando is one of four cities in Florida where the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is being deployed, along with Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville. Wells Fargo committed $30 million to support the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program in 2012 and made a mortgage lending goal of $1.75 billion over five years in the four Florida cities. The cities were selected for the program based on their high concentration of homeowners, foreclosures, delinquencies and overall housing inventory.

“Orlando was significantly affected by the housing crisis,” commented Larisa Perry, Wells Fargo’s Regional President for Central Florida. “Today, despite low home prices and historically low interest rates, many Orlando families are still unable to purchase a home because they simply cannot afford the down payment. The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program will help address this issue by providing down payment assistance.”

The July 13 and 14 NeighborhoodLIFTSM event is for anyone interested in buying and living in a home in the City of Orlando. Down payment assistance of up to $15,000 is available to those who qualify, buy and reside in a home located in the city. To qualify for down payment assistance that may be applied to a mortgage purchase loan with any lender, applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the median income for the area (for Orlando, not to exceed $69,850 for a family of four; income maximums vary depending on family size); an eight-hour homebuyer education session with the approved NeighborWorks America affiliate; a commitment to stay in the home for five years and qualification for a first mortgage on the property.

At the event, potential homebuyers can find out if they qualify for the down payment assistance program and reserve funds for 60 days – even if they have yet to find a property. In addition, prospective homebuyers may stop by the Wells Fargo Affordable Home TourSM viewing center to preview about 100 homes available for sale in Orlando. They can also take a free bus tour to view the homes from noon to 5 p.m. each day. Self-directed tours are also encouraged.

The NeighborhoodLIFTSMprogram is collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Foundation, NeighborWorks America, an independent non-profit organization, and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFTSM 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 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

Michelle Palomino

Chris Hammond