Mortgage Backer Works to Help Muslims Buy Houses

April 20, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On April 20, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported that "recognizing America's changing demographics, the nation's biggest mortgage backer, Freddie Mac, is working with the American Finance House LARIBA to fund home loans for Muslims who follow Islamic religious laws against paying or collecting interest." The system allows Muslims to arrange to buy houses without having to pay interest on loans, an act which violates Islamic religious law. Arizona is one of the first 15 states in the US to use the system. "After a buyer finds a home, he or she purchases the house with [the program,] LARIBA. Then, instead of paying monthly payments based on an interest rate, the borrower rents the house with a payment based on market rate rents and an established rate of return. Buyers can take up to 30 years to purchase their home through the program." Participants pay slightly more in the long run, but can purchase a home without violating their religious principles.