Hampden Bank extends energy relief program

SPRINGFIELD Citing the fact that many people in the community are now just beginning to feel the pinch of high heating and fuel bills throughout this season, executives at Hampden Bank have decided to extend the bank's Energy Relief Program to its mortgage customers through May 2008. The program, introduced two years ago, is designed to give mortgage customers the option to make smaller "interest only" payments on their mortgage thereby freeing up funds to help pay for the higher heating costs.

"This extension means that customers who participate in the program will now have the option of paying interest only through June instead of March," said senior vice president Robert Michel. "This was an easy decision to make," he continued, "one we believe can truly make a difference in the quality of life for many of our customers who may be having a hard time making ends meet this winter."

The program is simple, but the savings can be profound. For example, a $150,000 loan balance with a 20-year remaining term at an average 6.5 percent interest rate would yield a savings of almost $250 per month.

As the program comes to an end, a borrower's loan would be "recast" to amortize the new loan balance. In the example above the recast payment would increase the monthly payment on the loan by about $14 per month.

"This program helps people when they need it most. That's what makes a bank like Hampden Bank in tune with the community it serves," Michel commented. Those who would like to participate in the program should call the Hampden Bank Loan Center at 452-5120.