Ameris Bank Launches Innovative Borrower Assistance Program in Jacksonville

Ameris Bank Launches Innovative Borrower Assistance Program in Jacksonville

Ameris Choice Program: Bridging Opportunities for Homeownership in Jacksonville

In a significant leap towards nurturing inclusive homeownership, Ameris Bank has introduced the Ameris Choice program, a transformative initiative designed to provide substantial assistance to qualified applicants in the Jacksonville, Florida area. This groundbreaking program, tailored for individuals purchasing or refinancing their primary residence, seeks to address the housing needs of communities in majority Black and Hispanic census tracts. With a commitment to rectifying past disparities, the program is not only a financial boost but a step towards developing stronger and more equitable communities.

Program Details and Eligibility

The Ameris Choice program extends its reach to individuals engaged in purchasing or refinancing their principal residence within majority Black and Hispanic census tracts in Jacksonville. Moreover, it opens its doors to those currently residing in such tracts, seeking to purchase a primary residence in the surrounding counties of Baker, Clay, Duval, or St. Johns in Florida.

Eligible applicants can potentially receive up to $20,000 in assistance, a substantial sum that can considerably ease the financial burden associated with homeownership. The flexibility of Ameris Choice lies in empowering qualified borrowers to determine how they want to allocate their assistance funds. Options include utilizing the funds for down payment assistance, funding closing costs, or implementing a permanent rate buydown. This adaptability ensures that the program caters to the diverse requirements of homeowners in the region.

A notable feature of Ameris Choice is its compatibility with various mortgage types, including conventional, FHA, or VA first mortgages. This inclusivity seeks to accommodate a wide range of borrowers, making the dream of homeownership more accessible to a broader spectrum of individuals and families.

Origins and Commitment to Equity

The inception of the Ameris Choice program is ingrained in Ameris Bank’s dedication to rectifying past imbalances. The bank reached a $9 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in October of the previous year, addressing allegations of redlining against predominantly Black and Hispanic communities in Jacksonville. The introduction of this program stands as a tangible manifestation of Ameris Bank’s commitment to nurturing equitable opportunities for homebuyers in the Jacksonville area.

Palmer Proctor, the CEO of Ameris, expresses the bank’s commitment, stating, “Ameris Choice underscores our commitment to providing equitable opportunities to home buyers in the Jacksonville area. This new program will help more people realize the dream of homeownership, and we are proud of the work we’re doing to create stronger communities.”

Navigating the Path to Homeownership

The Ameris Choice program not only provides financial assistance but also functions as a guide for individuals navigating the intricate path to homeownership. By facilitating access to substantial funds, the program aims to empower borrowers to surmount financial barriers that may have previously hindered their homeownership journey.

Strategic Allocation of Assistance Funds

The ability for qualified debtors to strategically allocate their assistance funds adds another layer of empowerment. Whether focusing on the down payment to reduce the initial costs, covering closing costs, or opting for a permanent rate buydown to enhance long-term affordability, Ameris Choice ensures that the assistance aligns with the unique needs and preferences of each homeowner.

Inclusive Mortgage Compatibility

Recognizing the diversity in mortgage preferences, Ameris Choice accommodates conventional, FHA, and VA first mortgages. This inclusive approach is a deliberate effort to accommodate to the varied financial profiles of potential homeowners. The program’s adaptability extends beyond financial assistance, embracing the various paths individuals may take in their homeownership journey.

Rectifying Past Disparities through Community Building

Beyond its immediate financial impact, the Ameris Choice program is positioned as a catalyst for community building. By focusing on majority Black and Hispanic census tracts, the program actively addresses historical disparities and seeks to create stronger, more cohesive communities. The cascading effects of empowered homeownership extend beyond individual households, contributing to the overall resilience and vibrancy of the neighborhoods involved.

Ameris Bank’s Vision for a Stronger Future

As a subsidiary of Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ: ABCB), Ameris Bank views the Ameris Choice program as a pivotal step in shaping a more inclusive and prosperous future. By combining financial support with educational initiatives, community outreach, and a commitment to equity, Ameris Bank envisions a landscape where homeownership is not just a dream but a tangible and achievable reality for individuals and families in the Jacksonville area.

In conclusion, the Ameris Choice program is not merely a financial assistance initiative; it’s a multifaceted approach towards fostering equitable homeownership and creating resilient communities. Through strategic partnerships, inclusive measures, and a commitment to rectifying past disparities, Ameris Bank paves the way for a brighter and more inclusive future in the realm of homeownership.

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