AmeriDream Inc., a downpayment assistance provider based in Gaithersburg, Md., has announced the imposition of a $500 cap on the processing fee paid by sellers who use its gift program.The processing fee will continue to be calculated at 0.75% of the house purchase price up to the $500 cap. Ann Ashburn, AmeriDream's president and chief executive officer, said she expects the fee change to serve as an incentive that will allow more sellers "to sell their homes to buyers who need downpayment gifts." The service fee homesellers pay to AmeriDream for every new buyer of their homes goes back into the pool of funds from which future downpayment gifts are funded. AmeriDream said it could lower the processing fee thanks to technology that enabled the DPA to switch to Internet-based application processing, which is preferred by the industry because it is faster, more cost-effective, and more convenient than filing applications by fax. Additionally, AmeriDream is establishing a call center that will enable lenders, real estate agents, settlement agents, and consumers to communicate directly with the DPA. AmeriDream provides homebuyers up to 5% of the sales price of their homes to use toward downpayment and closing costs.

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