Fannie Mae financed $3.5 billion of multifamily mortgages in the first seven months of 1998, putting it on track to surpass the record $5 billion of multifamily loans it purchased in 1997.

The loans were originated through Fannie Mae's Delegated Underwriting and Servicing, or DUS, product line.

Most of the mortgages delivered under the program are backed by properties affordable to families earning the median income in their area.

Lenders in the program include affiliates of Amresco, Banc One, GMAC, KeyCorp, and Mellon Bank. DUS'10th anniversary came last month.

Despite the increased business volumes, the delinquency rate on these loans remains "substantially below 1%," Fannie said.

It said it has eliminated its previous $1 million minimum loan size requirement, reduced loan processing times, and delegated more authority to its DUS lenders.

Fannie also has a new mortgage product, available through select DUS lenders, for owners and developers of assisted-living facilities for senior citizens.

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