SHREVEPORT, La., March 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rosemary Bailey lived in terror in the small home she rented in Shreveport, Louisiana. Outside her back door, the yard was full of snakes, and she didn't feel safe in her home.
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It took several years of tears, prayers, and determination, but in July 2012, with the help of a Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant from Red River Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), Ms. Bailey finally closed on her new, three-bedroom, two-bath home in Shreveport.
"I woke up the first morning in my new home and I was kind of confused as to where I was because I woke up in this place that was so beautiful -- this place I dreamed of all my life. I couldn't do anything but cry," Ms. Bailey said.
Ms. Bailey, a 53-year-old accounts receivable specialist with the City of Shreveport, is the last of her siblings to purchase a home. "Years ago I decided I wanted to be a homeowner," she said. "I was tired of throwing my money away in rent."
Ms. Bailey's journey to homeownership began with a homebuyers' class she attended through the Volunteers of America. After failed deals, undependable realtors, and closed doors, she was finally referred to a builder in Shreveport that could build her dream home. Ms. Bailey also remembered the name of a lender mentioned at the homebuyers' class – Judy Madison, assistant vice president of community outreach at Red River Bank.
She called Ms. Madison and asked her to help. "Ms. Judy found a lot of things my realtors should have told me about that they didn't tell me. She teamed up with me and helped me get everything straight. It took us a year or two, but she more or less took me by the hand and was straight up with me the entire way and everything worked out for me," Ms. Bailey said.
When Ms. Bailey was ready to purchase her home, a $5,000 HELP grant lowered her down payment and closing costs. FHLB Dallas awarded $40,000 in HELP funds through Red River Bank in 2012, to assist eight families with down payments and closing costs.
"We feel strongly about participating in the HELP program because it really helps our customers with their down payments,' said Ms. Madison. "A lot of our customers do not have a lot of money for closing and this program helps them get into their homes. I worked with Ms. Bailey for more than a year, and she is a true example of a HELP grant success story."
HELP grants are available through FHLB Dallas member institutions, such as Red River Bank, to assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on a newly constructed or existing home. For 2013, FHLB Dallas made $1 million in HELP funds available to its members on a first-come, first-served basis.
As Ms. Bailey described her new home, which was custom built from the ground up, her voice began to shake as the tears poured out.
"I want everybody who wants a home and cannot afford a down payment to have a house built from the ground up like my house," she said. "So many people, because they don't have the down payment or don't make a lot of money, feel like they will never be able to achieve homeownership. Everyone told me I didn't make enough money. They were shutting doors in my face, but I kept on believing that somebody, somewhere, was going to help me. I thank God for the HELP program and everyone who assisted me with this process."
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $35.8 billion as of December 31, 2012, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to more than 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at fhlb.com.
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About Red River Bank
Red River Bank is an independent community bank headquartered in Central Louisiana with banking centers also located in Northwest Louisiana. The bank was founded in 1998 by a small group of bankers, community leaders, and business people who wanted to create a better way to bank.
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CONTACT: Corporate Communications Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas www.fhlb.com (214) 441-8445
Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas