Sterling Financial Corp. of Spokane is offering special mortgage rates to help people buy homes — and heal its own loan portfolio.

The main goal of the program is to spur home sales in real estate developments funded by the $12.8 billion-asset company. This helps the home builders that put up those developments repay their Sterling loans, staving off further credit deterioration for the lender, said Nancy McDaniel, an executive vice president and chief portfolio manager at Sterling Savings Bank.

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