For Immediate Release - August 01, 2011

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office to Offer $155,000 in Grants to Promote Asset Building

Funding a Result of Settlement with Mortgage Company for Alleged Discriminatory Practices

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office is now accepting grant applications from non-profit organizations aimed at promoting asset building in low-income communities across the Commonwealth. Up to four grants totaling $155,000 will be awarded to qualified organizations that provide consumer education and assistance pertaining to increasing household assets or savings, offer assistance relating to debt management, and/or promote investment, job development and small business opportunities.

"Our office has taken comprehensive measures to hold those responsible for the subprime lending fallout that has crippled the housing market and devastated countless homeowners," said AG Coakley. "We are pleased that these grants will provide assistance to those looking to pursue financial goals such as first-time homeownership, financing education, or small business development."

The funding for this grant program stems from a settlement obtained by the Attorney General's Civil Rights Division against Massachusetts' largest residential mortgage lender, Mortgage Master, for alleged discriminatory lending practices. As a part of the settlement, Mortgage Master agreed to pay restitution to affected borrowers and to provide funds to support consumer-oriented non-profits in Massachusetts.

The Attorney General's Office anticipates that it will award two to four grants in the range of $25,000 to $75,000 each. To qualify, grant recipients must be Massachusetts non-profit organizations that provide services and support to low-income communities. The applicant must propose a use of the funds that expands or provides new programs or services for underserved populations consistent with the goals of the grant program.

Interested applicants can visit the Attorney General's website, www.mass.gov/ago/grants, for additional information about the application process and to download application materials. The application deadline is September 15, 2011. The grants will be announced on or around October 17, 2011 and the grant period will be from November 14, 2011 through December 31, 2012.

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