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PMI Mortgage Insurance and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Launch Joint Native American Lending Effort

Submitted by: Wells Fargo & Company

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Jul 25, 2000 – 12:00 AM EST


Jul. 25 /CSRwire/ - PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc., today announced a comprehensive alliance to create homeownership opportunities for Native Americans living on and off reservations nationwide. This partnership is the first national effort by a leading mortgage lender and mortgage insurer to focus dedicated resources on delivering the promise of homeownership to low- and moderate-income Native Americans. PMI and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage have committed a total of $1.6 million dollars to the effort, which will consist of a combination of product enhancements, the formation of new partnerships and consumer outreach and education programs.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Wells Fargo on this important and unique Native American affordable housing effort," said W. Roger Haughton, Chairman and CEO of The PMI Group, Inc. "This is the first national effort of its kind, and with the participation of a well known and high quality mortgage lender like Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, we have a tremendous opportunity to change the way mortgages are made and insured on and off tribal trust land. Thus far, many tribes across the country have not had an opportunity to participate in the mortgage finance process, and our alliance with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage hopes to change that."

Objectives of the PMI-Wells Fargo alliance include creating access and incentives for tribal members pursuing homeownership, introducing and delivering new product solutions to tribal members, and preparing tribal entities for homeownership activities. Over the past five years, just over 90 conventional home loans were made on tribal trust land in the United States. PMI and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage hope to significantly surpass this number in the next 24 months.

"Both Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and PMI have demonstrated a commitment to lending to Native Americans throughout the United States," said Pete Wissinger, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage president and chief operating officer. "The need to find more and better ways to serve Native American communities is still very great. We believe by working together with PMI, we will be able to create additional homeownership opportunities for hundreds of families and engender a new approach to private-sector participation in Native American lending."

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a leader in providing mortgage financing on Native American Trust Lands. In 1999, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage provided nearly $3.9 million in HUD Section 184 financing to Native American homebuyers, up from $3.6 million in 1998. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage launched a pilot program in 1998 in conjunction with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to speed the loan approval process.

To date, PMI has insured over 300 mortgages to Native Americans under existing commitments, with an additional 32 loans in process. These loans have been insured under PMI's Native American mortgage insurance initiative whereby PMI insures loans that require as little as a one percent downpayment with flexible underwriting guidelines and risk shared between Indian tribes and PMI. PMI has risk sharing agreements with five Native American tribes and two additional agreements are pending. None of these existing agreements encompass dwellings located on tribal trust land.

Other PMI Native American lending activities include a $25,000 grant to the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) to develop a homeownership education course specifically geared to the needs of Native Americans.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. is a subsidiary of The PMI Group, Inc. (NYSE:PMI) and is one of the largest private mortgage insurers in the United States. Private mortgage insurance protects mortgage lenders against potential losses in the event of borrower default. By covering default risk on residential first mortgage loans, mortgage insurance facilitates the sale of low downpayment mortgages in the secondary mortgage market. In addition, private mortgage insurance expands homeownership opportunities by enabling borrowers to purchase homes with downpayments of less than 20 percent.

The PMI Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, also provides mortgage guaranty reinsurance in Hong Kong and private mortgage insurance in Australia and New Zealand. The PMI Group, Inc. is a leader in risk management technology, providing various products and services to the home mortgage finance industry as well as title insurance.

Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc., is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). It is a leading originator and servicer of residential mortgages. With a presence in more than 1,100 mortgage stores and Norwest/Wells Fargo bank locations serving all 50 states, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage operates the leading mortgage lending network in the country. Combined, its retail and wholesale lending operations provide funding for approximately one of every 15 homes financed annually in the United States.

Cautionary Statement: Statements in this press release that are not historical facts or that relate to future plans, events or performance are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause PMI's actual results to differ materially from those expressed in this release. Factors that could cause or contribute to such material differences are discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999.

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