Working Together, a Community Helps a Family Come Home
April 1, 2014
Mr. Aung “Sunny” Lat is proud of his house. With its neatly trimmed lawn, plants hanging on the porch and American flag waving from the corner of the garage, this house recently became Sunny’s home — thanks to help from BMO Harris Bank and ACTS Housing.
Previously, Sunny, his mother, wife and two sons were living in the only home they had known since moving to Milwaukee from Malaysia. They were dismayed when they were told that home, which they had rented for four years, was in foreclosure — and that they had only 90 days to move out.
Sunny recalled that ACTS Housing had helped a family member, and he hoped they could do the same for him. After meeting with Blia Cha, an ACTS counselor, Sunny began the search for a new home for his family — one they could own. Blia reached out to BMO Harris and Mortgage Banker Dawn Davis, while Sunny quickly gathered the documentation for pre-approval.
Dawn was able to deliver the much-anticipated pre-approval certificate to the Lats in an abbreviated timeframe, so Sunny could make an offer on a house his wife had fallen in love with.
The next step for the Lats was to gather additional funds for down payment and closing costs. Working together, ACTS Housing and BMO Harris were able to put together a package of more than $10,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance. And with one week left before they had to move, the Lats were able to close on their new home.
BMO Harris and ACTS — Partners in change
Carl Quindel, Executive Director of ACTS Housing, talks enthusiastically about the value of partnering with BMO Harris to help ACTS clients become home owners.
"BMO Harris has been ACTS Housing's longest standing bank partner. BMO Harris has always been a very generous grant provider, including providing two critical grants to ACTS Housing just this year. But the most significant partnership has always been BMO's ability to offer mortgage products that are accessible and affordable for our families. Since 2000, BMO has provided mortgage financing for more than 550 of ACTS Housing's families."
"We look forward to continuing to partner with BMO to help working families realize their dreams of homeownership. We believe bright things are in store, both for this partnership and the central city neighborhoods we share a vested interest in."
Kara Kaiser, BMO Harris Southeast Wisconsin Regional President, comments "ACTS Housing is truly valued as a community partner of BMO Harris Bank. We are proud of what our partnership has produced and look forward to continued collaboration as we work toward our shared vision of stabilized Milwaukee neighborhoods."
On a bright August day, Sunny Lat and his family stand proudly in front of their home. Inside, photos of friends and family, certificates of achievement and recognition, and religious icons dot the walls — evidence of the strong family that lives here.
“We are so happy to be here in this house,” says Sunny. “We thank everyone who helped make this possible.”
If you’re looking to realize your dream of owning a home, call 1-888-482-3781 to find a BMO Harris mortgage banker near you.
About ACTS :
ACTS Housing works to promote affordable homeownership opportunities and as a result, reduce community blight, neighborhood deterioration and poverty. Working together, BMO Harris and ACTS Housing have:
- Enabled 550 home sales using BMO Harris Bank financing since the year 2000
- Guided over $48 million in closed BMO Harris Bank residential mortgage lending
- Lent an average of $1.4 million and $2.5 million in grants and cash, respectively
- Reclaimed more than 50 vacant and vandalized foreclosures since 2009
ACTS provides the following services:
- Homebuyer Counseling Services
- Home Sales Services
- Rehab Management Services
For more information about ACTS Housing, visit www.actshousing.org.