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Bend bank offers 'fresh start' home loan program

BEND, Ore. - Central Oregon residents who have lost their homes or filed for bankruptcy as a result of job loss, medical expenses or other related circumstances may be eligible for a fresh start through a new loan program announced recently by Bank of the Cascades.

The bank's New Beginnings Home Lending Program is designed to provide home loans to qualified borrowers whose credit has been damaged as a result of the recent economic crisis.

To be eligible for a New Beginnings Home Loan, applicants must have experienced job loss, loss of income, underemployment after job loss, reduction of wages or hours, a medical or health related event or the death of a primary wage earner between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012. These events must also have resulted in foreclosure, bankruptcy, deed in lieu of foreclose or a short sale that impacted the applicant's credit.

"A serious medical illness or loss of a job can be devastating to a person's credit. We created this program to provide a second chance for our neighbors in Central Oregon," said Terry Zink, President and CEO for Bank of the Cascades. "Our goal is to help them repair their credit, rebuild their assets and take advantage of the record low interest rates that are available right now."

According to Zink, local residents should be the first to benefit from the bank's recent return to profitability.

"When we are successful our communities are successful. We're looking for creative ways to assist our neighbors and customers along the road to economic recovery. We believe this program is one way we can do that," said Zink.

"Current government loan underwriting requirements exclude borrowers who have experienced foreclosure, bankruptcy, short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure from re-entering the home purchase market for two to seven years," explained Chip Reeves, EVP & Chief Banking Officer for Bank of the Cascades.

"We need to stand behind our neighbors who have come across extraordinary circumstances," said Reeves. "We're trying to remove some of the barriers that make it difficult for them to recover and rebuild."

A New Beginnings loan can total up to $417,000 and is based on adjustable interest rates. The loans will only apply to single family, owner occupied residences. Second homes, multi-family homes, prefabricated or modular homes, or investment properties will not be eligible for financing through this program.

For more information about the New Beginnings Home Lending Program, contact (541) 385-9933.

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