The Nehemiah Corp. of America, a nonprofit provider of downpayment gift assistance based in Sacramento, Calif., has unveiled the Nehemiah Code of Conduct, a guideline based on the company's existing "best practices."Nehemiah called on all other downpayment assistance providers to adopt similar standards and offered to join forces with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to "institutionalize reforms" that would better protect homebuyers. Among the code's highlights are: restricting gift funds to the acquisition of the homebuyer's principal residence, and for only those costs allowed by federal law and regulation; informing home sellers that a contribution to a nonprofit DAP is not deductible as a charitable contribution; prohibiting parties from increasing the sale price of a home based on the buyer's receipt of downpayment assistance; and barring the payment of commissions or kickbacks to mortgage brokers, real estate agents, builders, or sellers for securing downpayment assistance. The complete code of conduct can be found at: http://www.getdownpayment.com/pdfs/codeofconduct.pdf.

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