American Library Association, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage partner to provide education about homeownership

Contact: Larra Clark

(312) 280-5043

Ahnalee Luchtel

(515) 213-5153

For Immediate Release

July 9, 2002

American Library Association, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage partner to provide education about homeownership

Campaign will provide homebuying reference materials and free homebuying seminars for low- to moderate-income and minority homebuyers

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2002 - The American Library Association (ALA), the world's oldest and largest library association, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, a leading provider of home financing, today announced a national campaign to provide information about homeownership. "The Path to Homeownership Begins @ your library™" initiative provides libraries nationwide with a list of targeted reference materials and Web sites that will help homebuyers make well-informed financial decisions. In addition, participating libraries in eight cities will host free seminars where homebuyers can learn about the homebuying and mortgage lending process.

"Libraries are a central community meeting place and a place to gather information," said ALA Executive Director William R. Gordon, "so they are an ideal place for potential homeowners to become more educated about homeownership."

"Many people don't apply for mortgages because they don't know how to get started or are uncertain about down payment requirements and credit issues," said Pete Wissinger, president and CEO of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. "By working with the American Library Association and local libraries, we will provide easy access to information about homebuying, thus helping homebuyers overcome the information barriers to homeownership. In particular, we will focus on helping low- to moderate-income and minority homebuyers because rates of homeownership are lower among these groups."

According to Harvard University's 2001 State of the Nation Housing Survey, the homeownership rate for African-American households is 47.6 percent, Hispanics is 46.3 percent and Asians and others is 53.9 percent, as compared to 73.8 percent for Caucasians.

"At Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, we are committed to increasing homeownership opportunities for all Americans, including minorities, and this program will help accomplish that," said Jackson Cosey, senior vice president of Wells Fargo's emerging markets division.

The program kicked off today at the Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library in Washington, D.C., with a briefing by Mel Martinez, secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development; executives from the ALA and Wells Fargo; and Olympic speedskating gold medallist Derek Parra, who will help promote the program. Parra is the first Mexican-American to compete and medal in the Winter Olympics.

"President Bush set a goal to increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million by the year 2010," Martinez said. "Today's event with Wells Fargo and the American Library Association is a good example of how the public and private sectors are working together to reach this goal."

As part of its initial commitment to the national program, the ALA and Wells Fargo will provide grants to libraries in eight cities with large populations of low- to moderate-income families and minorities. The cities include Atlanta; Boston; Ft. Worth, Texas; Houston; Phoenix; Queens (borough of New York City); San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.

The list of reference materials will be available at local libraries, or by visiting the
website. A tutorial and additional information on homebuying also is available, code word "homebuyer."

"The Path to Homeownership Begins @ your library™" is the latest program from "@ your library™," The Campaign for America's Libraries, a multi-year public education effort sponsored by the ALA to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. Public librarians answer more than 294 million reference questions each year.

Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc., is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo & Company is celebrating 150 years of helping customers succeed financially. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a leading originator and servicer of residential mortgages.

*Based on statistics by Inside Mortgage Finance ending 12/31/01.