Wells Fargo plans down payment help

Potential homebuyers in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Concord, Antioch, Pittsburg, Richmond, Brentwood and Bay Point stand to benefit from a new $5 million down payment assistance program by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo.

People who want to buy a residence in those Alameda County and Contra Costa County cities would receive down payment assistance of $20,000. It's part of a program by Wells Fargo to help qualified buyers purchase a home.

The program is a joint venture of Wells Fargo, county and city officials in the East Bay, NeighborWorks America and the Unity Council.

Wells Fargo has undertaken similar CityLift programs in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tampa and the St. Paul-Minneapolis areas.

"Despite home prices and historically low interest rates, many families are still unable to purchase a home because they struggle with making the down payment," said Jim Foley, a Wells Fargo regional president in the Bay Area.

Thoratec authorizes share repurchase

Pleasanton-based Thoratec has authorized the repurchase of up to $150 million of the company's shares of stock.

Thoratec, which makes a heart pump device, will keep the authorization of the share purchase in effect through the end of 2013.


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"This repurchase authorization reflects our confidence in the long-term strength of the company, as well as our commitment to a disciplined capital deployment strategy," CEO Gary Burbach said.

The company said it is enthusiastic about its pipeline of new technologies and its market opportunities in the circulatory support industry.

-- Staff