Bank of America says it will make $5 billion in mortgages to low and moderate income borrowers

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Bank of America said it will help low and moderate income people in the U.S. become homeowners by extending $5 billion in mortgages.

The five-year program, called Neighborhood Solutions, also includes grants for down payments and closing costs and mortgage packages with small down payments, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said Tuesday in a release.

“We know many of our clients want the power to own their first home, which can sometimes be challenging,” D. Steve Boland, the bank’s consumer lending head, said in the statement. The new programs will “aid them in overcoming barriers and put sustainable homeownership within reach.”

The announcement is the latest by a big U.S. bank aimed at helping underserved communities. Last month, J.P. Morgan Chase said it was pledging $350 million for job training programs.

For Bank of America, the mortgage program is a reminder of its recent past. Thanks mostly to its purchase of Countrywide Financial during the 2008 crisis, the bank had more than $70 billion in regulatory settlements tied to improper mortgage and foreclosure activities.

The bank said that included in the new program are grants for eligible borrowers of up to $10,000 for a down payment or closing costs. Another program gives credits worth up to $7,500 towards costs including title insurance and recording fees. It wasn’t immediately clear what makes borrowers eligible for these enticements.

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