“Huge victory”: AIME, UWM push for Florida down payment assistance program

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“Huge victory”: AIME, UWM push for Florida down payment assistance program

The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) and United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) have announced the success of their joint advocacy to promote a program that would allow brokers in Florida to offer state-funded down payment assistance relief to frontline workers.

In a statement, AIME and UWM said the Florida Hometown Heroes Down Payment Assistance Program – which has been amended to include third-party originators – was a “huge victory for independent mortgage brokers.” Through the program, income-qualified, first-time homebuyers receive up to 5% of their first loan amount up to a maximum of $25,000 for down payment assistance and closing cost assistance.

The amendment now allows third-party originators to service the program to Florida’s essential workers such as teachers, law enforcement, firefighters, active military service members and veterans, and other public service workers.

“This is just the beginning for the positive changes spearheaded by AIME’s advocacy efforts in partnership with UWM’s government relations team,” said Katie Sweeney, chief executive officer 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.”

“For too long independent mortgage brokers have been unable to offer consumers state-funded down payment assistance programs,” added 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.”

Through the joint effort, UWM has become the first-ever wholesale lender to offer the Hometown Heroes Housing Program to eligible broker shops and loan officers in Florida.

“It’s a winning program,” said UWM president and CEO Mat Ishbia. “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.”