Lender receives homeownership award

Jason Sockbeson (cq), right, reigns in his two-year-old son, Jaxson Sockbeson (cq), right, during Wednesday morning's press conference and open house at the Sockbeson family's home on Indian Island. Next to them (left to right) were John Moore (Bangor Savings Bank  Senior Vice President for Community Development Lending), Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis, Virginia Manuel (U.S.D.A. Rural Development State Director), Jaedan Sockbeson (cq) (obscured), 6, and Jessica Sockbeson (holding three-month-old Jillian Sockbeson). The Sockbesons moved into their energy-efficient home in March 2009. Theirs was the first home constructed in a new affordable housing subvision on Indian Island and it was the first home move-in enabled by a partnership between USDA Rural Development and and Penobscot Nation to help tribal families become homehowners. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS
BDN
Jason Sockbeson (cq), right, reigns in his two-year-old son, Jaxson Sockbeson (cq), right, during Wednesday morning's press conference and open house at the Sockbeson family's home on Indian Island. Next to them (left to right) were John Moore (Bangor Savings Bank Senior Vice President for Community Development Lending), Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis, Virginia Manuel (U.S.D.A. Rural Development State Director), Jaedan Sockbeson (cq) (obscured), 6, and Jessica Sockbeson (holding three-month-old Jillian Sockbeson). The Sockbesons moved into their energy-efficient home in March 2009. Theirs was the first home constructed in a new affordable housing subvision on Indian Island and it was the first home move-in enabled by a partnership between USDA Rural Development and and Penobscot Nation to help tribal families become homehowners. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS
Posted June 09, 2010, at 9:26 p.m.
Penobscot Nation chief Kirk Francis, left, talks with new home owner Jason Sockbeson (cq), right, following Wednesday morning's press conference  and open house at the Sockbeson family's home on Indian Island. Behind them (from left) were U.S.D.A Rural Development Bangor Area Director Raymond Roberts III,  Jaxson Sockbeson (cq),2, Jaedan Sockbeson (cq), 6, U.S.D.A. Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel and Jessica Sockbeson (holding three-month-old Jillian Sockbeson). The Sockbesons moved into their energy-efficient home in March 2009. Theirs was the first home constructed in a new affordable housing subvision on Indian Island and it was the first home move-in enabled by a partnership between USDA Rural Development and and Penobscot Nation to help tribal families become homehowners. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS
BDN
Penobscot Nation chief Kirk Francis, left, talks with new home owner Jason Sockbeson (cq), right, following Wednesday morning's press conference and open house at the Sockbeson family's home on Indian Island. Behind them (from left) were U.S.D.A Rural Development Bangor Area Director Raymond Roberts III, Jaxson Sockbeson (cq),2, Jaedan Sockbeson (cq), 6, U.S.D.A. Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel and Jessica Sockbeson (holding three-month-old Jillian Sockbeson). The Sockbesons moved into their energy-efficient home in March 2009. Theirs was the first home constructed in a new affordable housing subvision on Indian Island and it was the first home move-in enabled by a partnership between USDA Rural Development and and Penobscot Nation to help tribal families become homehowners. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS

BANGOR, Maine — The director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program for the state of Maine presented this year’s Homeownership Partner of the Year award to representatives of Maine-based Residential Mortgage Services Inc. on Wednesday.

Virginia Manuel, director of USDA Rural Development in Maine, was joined for the brief ceremony by a handful of individuals from the program’s Bangor office and staff members from the offices of Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

Manuel said the firm’s low delinquency rate, far below the state average, “really attests to [their] ability” as a lender with the Rural Development guaranteed loan program.

Also Wednesday, the USDA Rural Development program showcased a new energy-efficient home on Indian Island.

The home was the first constructed in a new affordable housing subdivision and the first made possible through “One Stop Mortgage” documents, which allow USDA Rural Development and the Penobscot Nation to partner to help tribal families become homeowners.

The USDA Rural Development program seeks to provide affordable housing for citizens who wish to live in a rural area but are unable to locate appropriate funding. Since the program’s inception in 1949, the USDA has provided more than $54 billion to help individuals and families purchase their own homes.

Darrell Briggs, vice president of operations at Residential Mortgage Services, said its focus has always remained on the first-time homebuyer and “the loans banks don’t want to do,” securing a solid market share for the company.

Between Oct. 1, 2009, and April 30, 2010, Residential Mortgage Services provided 295 loans for families in rural Maine totaling more than $41 million. Of those loans, only 7.9 percent have been labeled as delinquent, more than 25 percent lower than the state average of 10.6 percent.

The South Portland company operates eight locations in the state, including Bangor, and several more throughout New England, in addition to holding a license to operate in Florida. Mike Ianno, vice president in charge of sales at Residential Mortgage Services, attributes the firm’s success to its close connection with Maine.

Ianno said that because they have no local connection to their customers, “the bigger banks don’t care as much.”

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