The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has extended
several of the “flexibilities” it announced in March to assist mortgage
originators in processing loans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during shutdown
associated with the COVID-19 emergency. The accommodations are designed to
eliminate some in-person contact and to make it possible to for processing staff
to work from remote locations.

Originally intended to remain in effect for loans with
application dates on or before May 17, the following are now extended to at
least June 30th

    • Use of exterior only or Desktop appraisals for purchase
      and rate term refinances where complete interior and exterior appraisals
      cannot be obtained  due to virus


    • Flexibility for borrowers to provide documentation
      (rather than requiring an inspection) to allow disbursements for completed


    • Alternative methods for verifying employment before
      loan closing including email verification, year-to-date paystubs, or bank
      statements. Verification can also be obtained in some situations up until
      the date of loan delivery.


    • Expanding the use of power of attorney and remote
      online notarizations to assist with loan closings.​


“These loan origination
flexibilities will continue to facilitate loan closings and go a long way to
keeping the market functioning effectively during this national emergency,”
said FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “Today’s actions also keep homebuyers,
sellers, and appraisers safe.”

While unconfirmed by FHFA, it
appears that servicers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans may be reimbursed $500
for each forbearance plan they handle. The payments, rumored to be available around
the first of July, are meant to defray the extra expenses servicers will incur
in staffing up phone lines, counseling borrowers, and putting forbearance plans
in place.

By Jann Swanson , dated 2020-05-06 17:52:20

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Courtesy of Mortgage News Daily