As the voice for the homeowner and private property rights, here are just some of the things REALTORS® are advocating for and/or have accomplished during this COVID-19 Pandemic:

REALTORS® called for direct rental assistance for families who have income loss due to COVID-19 and relief for property owners from the financial obligations of forbearance and foreclosures.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enacted a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for 60 days (through May 16) for FHA single-family mortgage borrowers and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) borrowers.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has also directed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to do the same, while many individual lenders are offering individual relief to consumers.

Fannie Mae’s guidelines for single-family mortgages:

  • Homeowners who are adversely impacted by this national emergency may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer
  • Foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days
  • Homeowners impacted by this national emergency are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months
  • Credit bureau reporting of past due payments of borrowers in a forbearance plan as a result of hardships attributable to this national emergency is suspended
  • Homeowners in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees
  • After forbearance, a servicer must work with the borrower on a permanent plan to help maintain or reduce monthly payment amounts as necessary, including a loan modification

Freddie Mac’s mortgage relief options for borrowers impacted by COVID-19 include:

  • Ensuring payment relief by providing borrowers forbearance for up to 12 months;
  • Waiving assessments of penalties or late fees against borrowers;
  • Suspending the reporting of delinquency related to forbearance, repayment or trial plans to credit bureaus; and
  • Allowing Servicers to offer borrowers additional loss mitigation options that are typically only enacted to address natural disasters. This includes loan modifications that give servicers options to provide payment relief or keep the payment the same post the forbearance period.

When applying for a loan forbearance with your mortgage servicer be sure to time block at least 90 minutes as their hold time is long. It has been advised that you should not miss a payment until you speak with your servicer. Be sure to call in the month that the mortgage payment is due.

FHFA also temporarily expanded the use of appraisal alternatives and provide flexibility around employment verification, such as acceptance of email from an employer or bank statements showing payroll deposits. This is especially important as more businesses are forced to close during the pandemic and may be unavailable for oral verification.

REALTORS® called for Treasury to include deadline relief for 1031 like-kind exchanges, including an extension of the 45-day period for identifying possible properties as exchange candidates and the 180-day requirement to close on the replacement property. There will undoubtedly be delays in settlements during the outbreak. 

REALTORS® also asked the Treasury Department and IRS for deadline relief for the working capital safe harbor for Qualified Opportunity Funds.

REALTORS®, along with the Legaz Team, are (here for you), making sure home and property owners are part of the relief efforts during these uncertain times.

 

If you have any questions please call us at 718-475-2800 or contact us at LegazTeam@kw.com.

 

Respectfully,

David Legaz

RE Broker – Keller Williams Realty Landmark

2020 New York State Association of REALTORS® President-Elect

C 718-216-9990