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GAITHERSBURG, MD (November 21, 2002) Ms. Terre Smith of Jackson, Miss. is the proud new owner of a home after becoming the first homebuyer to receive down payment assistance using the AmeriDream Advantage Program. The AmeriDream Advantage Program was created by CRA Group and The AmeriDream Charity, Inc., the nation’s largest provider of down payment assistance.

“Ms. Smith wanted to buy a house, but she had concerns about completely wiping out her entire savings to do so,” said Scott Garner, AmeriDream regional representative for Mississippi and Louisiana. “She was ecstatic that we were able to help her quickly and efficiently get into a home using down payment assistance.”

Through the AmeriDream Advantage Program, AmeriDream gifts a homebuyer three percent of the purchase price of a home toward down payment or closing costs. This gift does not have to be repaid. CRA Group, in turn, provides an efficient FHA mortgage execution for lenders, and reduces by almost half the service fee normally assumed by a homebuilder or other seller when using a down payment assistance program. As a result, the pool of homes available to homebuyers using the AmeriDream Advantage Program is expanded, so buyers have a broader choice of homes than when using standard down payment assistance programs, and more people who are currently renting are able to realize their dreams of homeownership.

“Scott [Garner] sat down with me and with the heart of a teacher made sure I understood what I was doing before I did it. That made all the difference,” Ms. Smith said. “I thought it was great that I was the first person to use this program. Everything was so fast. It was very fast, friendly and efficient. It’s a wonderful program.”

Consumers, lenders, builders and real estate professionals can find more information at www.ameridream.org or www.cragroupllc.com.  Lenders who would like more information about the AmeriDream Advantage Program may call (877) CRA-GROUP or (877) 272-4768.

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About CRA Group
Community Reinvestment Acceptance Group provides innovative mortgage products and services to help low- and moderate-income families achieve homeownership while also supporting the Community Reinvestment Act and other affordable housing initiatives. The company’s goals are to bring to market mortgage products and services that make it easier for people to buy homes, help lenders meet their CRA requirements and promote the benefits of CRA loans to the capital markets.

About AmeriDream Charity, Inc. 
The mission of The AmeriDream Charity, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD, is to expand homeownership opportunities for underserved groups and promote the value of homeownership as the foundation for building strong communities and individual prosperity. A 501(c)(3) organization, The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. meets HUD requirements for FHA insured loans as a charitable organization.  In addition to The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program and The AmeriDream Advantage Program, the charity also operates The AmeriDream Redevelopment Program in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Through the Redevelopment Program, AmeriDream has invested more than $8 million to rehabilitate properties and return them to the market at affordable prices. The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. has also donated more than $1.5 million to a range of community organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.