A new pilot program combining the high loan-to-value benefits of conventional jumbo financing with more flexible underwriting standards associated with affordable lending programs has been announced by the California Housing Finance Agency.The Cal Jumbo Loan Program, to be piloted in 15 high-cost California counties, is the result of a partnership between CalHFA, Countrywide Home Loans Inc., and National Homebuyers Fund, a California-based nonprofit organization. CalHFA will insure the loans through its mortgage insurance division, NHF will provide downpayment and closing-cost assistance loans, and Countrywide will service the loans and administer the program through its correspondent lenders. "This breaks new ground in the mortgage lending industry, where 100% financing for jumbo loans (conventional or otherwise) is virtually nonexistent," said Theresa A. Parker, executive director of CalHFA. "By providing extremely generous loan thresholds to middle-income earners -- $550,000 on new construction or $500,000 for existing homes -- this resourceful program can help counteract the growing spread between family income and median home prices in high-cost areas." CalHFA can be found online at http://www.calhfa.gov.

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