PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A huge victory for independent mortgage brokers – the Florida Hometown Heroes Down Payment Assistance Program has been amended to include Third-Party Originators. Over 10,000 independent mortgage brokers in Florida now have access to offer loans under the program, due to the joint advocacy efforts of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) and United Wholesale Mortgage, the number one mortgage lender in America.
“This is just the beginning for the positive changes spearheaded by AIME’s advocacy efforts in partnership with UWM’s Government Relations Team,” announces Katie Sweeney, CEO of AIME. “This isn’t just a win for Florida – it’s a win for independent mortgage brokers everywhere. Our community will continue to gain more wins throughout the country with AIME’s advocacy efforts to level the playing field between the retail and wholesale channels.”
When the Florida Hometown Heroes program was announced earlier this year, Florida’s essential workers did not have the choice to be serviced by third-party originators, limited homebuyers access to much needed mortgage expertise and funding opportunities. This program makes homeownership more accessible and affordable for frontline community members and workers, such as teachers, law enforcement, firefighters, active military service members and Veterans, and other public service workers, excluding third-party originators servicing their communities through the program.
“For too long independent mortgage brokers have been unable to offer consumers state-funded Down Payment Assistance programs,” says Brendan McKay, President of Advocacy at AIME. “Previously, homebuyers leveraging Hometown Heroes could not also take advantage of the savings mortgage brokers are able to offer, and AIME is excited that this is no longer the case, and we look forward to working with other states to make this same adjustment.”
“It’s a winning program,” states Mat Ishbia, President and CEO of UWM. “Brokers and borrowers nationwide should care about this because it could be coming to your state soon. And it shows that UWM and AIME together are always willing to go to bat for the mortgage broker community.” This joint effort has established UWM as the first-ever wholesale lender to offer the Hometown Heroes Housing Program to eligible broker shops and loan officers in Florida. Through this program, income-qualified, first-time homebuyers receive up to 5% of their first loan amount to use for down payments and to assist with closing costs. This will give many thousands of homebuyers and mortgage broker clients more homebuying options, and in many cases, the opportunity to make homeownership possible.
This is just the start for AIME, which is continuing its ongoing advocacy efforts for expanded independent mortgage broker access to similar housing programs in other states, as well as efforts for Black, Hispanic, Minority, and Veteran homeownership. AIME’s Broker Action Coalition (BAC), the Association’s advocacy arm, will continue its campaigns and efforts to close the gaps between retail and wholesale mortgage channels, to level the playing field by granting mortgage brokers equal access to resources and programs previously exclusive to retail.
About the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts
The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) is a non-profit, national trade membership association created exclusively for independent mortgage brokers. With over 65,000 members, AIME is committed to establishing a community of independent mortgage experts by creating an association that empowers them with unparalleled technology, continued education, and networking support necessary to successfully advise consumers nationwide about their residential mortgage needs. AIME operates with a growth-focused strategy, providing tools and resources to propel the wholesale channel beyond a 25% share of the mortgage market in 2023 and beyond.