GMAC Mortgage Corp. has signed a contract to offer home loans to the customers of about 60 banks owned by minorities and women.
The marketing will be carried out through the Washingtonbased National Bankers Association, which represents the banks.
"We figured this was a good way in which our members can build the communities in which they are located," said Samuel L. Foggie, the group's president.
Mortgage bankers have been clamoring to strike lending relationships with professional associations and other "affinity groups." Lenders see marketing loans to groups as a cost-effective way to build originations.
Since February, when interest rates started climbing and loan production began burning out, competition for affinity relationships has grown fiercer than ever.
The National Bankers Association formed in 1927, will be GMAC's largest affinity-lending relationship, said Teresa M. Albertira, vice president for business development.
GMAC, an Elkins Park, Pa.bascd unit of General Motors Acceptance Corp., has more than 20 affinity-lending programs. The largest is a plan serving employees General Motors Corp.
The banks represented by the National Bankers Association bring an estimated one million customers into the fold, GMAC said.
For two years the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association has been working closely with the NBA, encouraging it to promote mortgage lending, said Deborah S. Holmes, Fannie Mae's director of community investment.
A survey of NBA members conducted by Fannie Mae and finished last September suggested that the group seek out proposals from experienced mortgage banks to create a lending program, Ms. Holmes said.
Although Fannie has worked closely with several banking trade groups to encourage affordable lending, this is the first time such a relationship has resulted in a solid lending agreement with a third-party mortgage originator. Ms. Holmes said
The request for proposals to market home loans to NBA members went out to about 60 lenders. said Mr. Foggie. He said 11 lenders - which he declined to identify - were finalists.
Association executives considered GMAC's bid "the best proposal," Mr. Foggie said.
Ms. Albertini of GMAC said the company, which houses its affinity-ending and affordable housing operations within the same division, "really jumped on" the National Bankers Association bid.
One mortgage lender said the contract would require much effort on GMACs part in reaching out to inner-city borrowers. Ms. Albertini of GMAC acknowledged so much, saying the program would require some effort to succeed.
Ms. Holmes at Fannie Mac said GMAC's proposal suggested that it would work with the organization "at different levels to address its different needs."
Ms. Albertini said the lender will offer products to NBA member banks usually out of the range of small community and urban financial institutions.
GMAC also plans to tailor products for not-for-profit organizations that are part of NBA members'communities.