Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been told by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to come up with alternatives to appraisal requirements and employment verification on loans they service through May 17, in response to the COVID-19 shutdown.
“To allow for homes to be bought, sold, and refinanced as our nation deals with the challenges of the coronavirus, [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] will leverage appraisal alternatives to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interior of a home for eligible mortgages,” the FHFA said in a statement.
If lenders are unable to obtain verbal verification of a borrower’s employment before the loan closes, they will be able to obtain verification through an email from that person’s employer. Alternatives include accepting a recent year-to-date pay stub, or a bank statement showing payroll deposits.
The new rules are the latest in several updates the FHFA has made to its guidance since the coronavirus outbreak led to the nation shutting down. In addition, the FHFA has also suspended foreclosures and evictions for a minimum of 60 days, while offering forebearance to those who face hardship due to the coronavirus.
Also this week, the FHFA on Monday said it’s suspending mortgage payments for any landlords who’re facing hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak. Some multifamily property owners who have loans serviced by Fannie and Freddie might also be eligible for financial relief, if they agree not to evict tenants during the outbreak.
“Renters should not have to worry about being evicted from their home, and property owners should not have to worry about losing their building due to the coronavirus,” FHFA director Mark Calabria said in a statement.