By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
BOSTON â€“ Mechanics Cooperative Bank of Taunton has been honored by receiving the Massachusetts Housing Partnershipâ€™s 2012 HomeSafe Award. The bank has been successful with making loans to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers in southeastern Massachusetts through their â€śSoftSecondâ€ť loan program.
MC B increased its lending, making loans to first-time homebuyers in many towns in the region, including Attleboro, New Bedford, Rehoboth and Taunton. The average total household income of these buyers was $45,000, which is now considered to be low- and moderate-income.
The bank has secured more than $1 million in mortgage financing to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers through the program. The effort comes at a time where it appears banks are still somewhat tentative about granting mortgages, never mind to those with low- and moderate-income.
SoftSecond is an affordable program for first-time homebuyers who make less than the area median income. In Massachusetts, the program was taken statewide and has helped over 16,000 homebuyers purchase their first home. The average total household income is $50,000 and the program has maintained a low delinquency rate.
MCB is one of 25 financial institutions in Massachusetts offering the program.
â€śWhile many mortgage lenders have been pulling back, Mechanics Cooperative Bank has stepped up its commitment to helping first-time homebuyers fulfill their dream of homeownership by making good loans that keep homebuyers in their home for the long run,â€ť said Clark Ziegler, executive director of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, in a statement.