Skip to main content
2006 Annual Report

Helping More People Own Homes

Diana Soto makes cupcakes with her children
Diana Soto makes cupcakes with her children for the first time in the kitchen of her new home in Phoenix.

With growing prospects in the mortgage field, Bank of America is expanding its offerings.

For years, 25-year-old Diana Soto of Phoenix yearned to get off the rental treadmill. And then she had a reason to do so quickly: She and her two young children outgrew their one-bedroom apartment. But she calculated that she would not be able to afford her own home for years. "I had to stop renting," Soto recalled. "I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could qualify to buy my place, but all people would tell me is, 'No, you can't do that.' "

Then Soto met Bank of America Mortgage Loan Officer Herlinda Lopez, who moved Soto off the home-ownership sidelines and into the game.

"My first thought was, 'I've got to help make her dream come true,' " said Lopez.

Lopez knew that help — the Community Commitment™ mortgage — was available to Soto and thousands of others looking to buy their first homes, even people with low or moderate incomes and limited credit history. Besides having a reduced application fee, a Community Commitment mortgage requires no traditional credit history, and owners can put down as little as 1 percent of the purchase price for a down payment.

These loans have leveled the playing field in the real estate market, helping lower-income customers afford homes. And by removing the hurdles to home ownership for first-time buyers, Community Commitment mortgages have created greater stability for the community as a whole.

To Soto, what mattered most was not only finding a loan program that suited her financial circumstances, but also meeting a mortgage loan officer who could help her learn the ropes in the mortgage market. "All the time that I'm with Herlinda, I'm relaxed," said Soto. "She kept telling me, 'We can get this done.' " And they did.

Soto remembers walking into her new home for the first time. "I'm thinking, I can't believe I'm in my new house and that it's mine," she said. "I worked hard all my life, and now I have my house. It's incredible."

Next: Opportunities in the Mortgage Market
Floyd S. Robinson, left, President, Consumer Real Estate and Ian Banwell, Chief Investment Officer
Floyd S. Robinson, left, President, Consumer Real Estate; Ian Banwell, Chief Investment Officer
Opportunities in the Mortgage Market The mortgage business is one of Bank of America's clearest organic growth opportunities. In 2006, only 9.7 percent of our deposit customers who got a mortgage got it with us. >>