Fannie Mae is giving lenders in its Community Homebuyer Program an opportunity to help potential borrowers meet the programs study requirements through a new home buyer referral and education service. Fannie said the service, called HomePath, is meant to help fulfill the $1 trillion, 10-million family affordable housing pledge it made in March. The nerve center of the HomePath program is a 142-page nationwide directory of local agencies that specialize in providing credit and home buyer education. The Directory of Home Buyer Education Providers, which lists more than 300 local organizations and has listings that describe the educational programs offered by each, as well as the regions served and languages spoken by the staffs, is available free to mortgage companies, banks, thrifts and credit unions, as well as nonprofit organizations and real estate professionals. Lenders and others in the mortgage finance and real estate industry may obtain a copy of the directory by calling Fannie Maes toll- free hotline at (800) 7FANNIE. Fannie Mae also plans to use its hotline to provide consumers referred by a lender and Realtor with a list of local organizations that provide home buyer education programs. Fannie said if no home buyer education programs are available locally, it will provide one-on-one telephone guidance, a home study course and a follow-up session. Home buyers must meet the study requirement of the CHM program and be certified before they can apply for a mortgage. The loans under CHBP offer flexible underwriting and down payment guides as low as 5%, with as little as 3% coming from the borrower in certain conditions.

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