updated 1/25/2011 10:46:21 AM ET 2011-01-25T15:46:21

ATLANTA, Jan. 25, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLBank Atlanta) announced today that funding is now available under its 2011 First-time Homebuyer Program (FHP). FHLBank Atlanta's FHP helps spur home sales by providing matching funds through its member financial institutions for down payment and closing costs of eligible first-time homebuyers in the Bank's district, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

FHLBank Atlanta members that participate in the FHP can access up to $1 million annually and distribute matching FHP funds of up to $7,500 per household to eligible homebuyers. The availability of FHP funds helps FHLBank Atlanta member institutions expand their customer base, originate new home mortgages, and attract potential homebuyers. Funds are provided to member institutions on a first-come, first-served basis, and potential homebuyers must request the funds from a participating member institution of FHLBank Atlanta.

FHP funds can be used in conjunction with a variety of members' mortgage product offerings including conventional, Veterans Administration (VA), and Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured mortgages. FHP funds are considered an acceptable source of down-payment assistance according to the FHA, and can be used by borrowers to satisfy the 3.5 percent minimum cash investment required by the National Housing Act section 203(b)(9)(A).

Since the FHP's inception in 1997, FHLBank Atlanta has contributed nearly $70 million to first-time homebuyers, helping almost 11,000 families and individuals purchase a home. FHLBank Atlanta estimates that for every $1 of FHP funding awarded, up to $14 is generated in new home mortgages.

"The First-time Homebuyer Program has provided down-payment assistance to thousands of new homeowners and it continues to be an important catalyst for home sales in the communities served by our member institutions," said Arthur Fleming, senior vice president and director of Community Investment Services, FHLBank Atlanta.

Individual participants receiving FHP funds must complete a Bank-prescribed homebuyer counseling program that provides educational training on the home-buying process, including courses on budgeting, mortgage financing, lending laws, and home ownership fundamentals.

About FHLBank Atlanta

FHLBank Atlanta offers competitively-priced financing, community development grants, and other banking services to help member financial institutions make affordable home mortgages and provide economic development credit to neighborhoods and communities. The Bank's members—its shareholders and customers—are commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, community development financial institutions, and insurance companies headquartered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. FHLBank Atlanta is one of 12 district banks in the Federal Home Loan Bank System which since 1990 has contributed more than $4 billion to the Affordable Housing Program.

For more information, visit www.fhlbatl.com .

CONTACT: Sharon Cook
         Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta
         scook@fhlbatl.com
         (404) 888-8173

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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