The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the real estate industry.
Everything, from brokerage operations to how listings are being marketed and the ability to close transactions, is requiring agents, buyers, and sellers alike to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances.
The National Association of Realtors urges homeowners and potential buyers and sellers to check with their local realty companies for information specific to their region regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the real estate market.
Your county may have issued mandates surrounding the real estate transaction process, including restrictions on showing homes or requirements for facial coverings while visiting a potential new home.
According to the NAR, if your mortgage is one of the 5 million in the United States not backed by a federal entity, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes a coronavirus mortgage relief mandate, doesn’t apply. But the NAR reports that many banks and other lenders are suspending mortgage payments or offering forbearance. Contact your lender to find out what’s available in your area.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued the following guidance:
- 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.
Check out these free resources from the NAR to help protect your finances during this global pandemic:
Federal Trade Commission: The Federal Trade Commission provides advice on avoiding scams related to the coronavirus such as attempts to steal stimulus payments and mortgage rescue scams. Consumers can visit ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams for information or to report a scam.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: HUD is offering housing counseling and education for consumers looking to avoid foreclosure. The HUD website has a list of approved counseling organizations, by state (www.hud.gov/counseling).
Need assistance? We will be happy to meet with you and share our guidance. Schedule an appointment today. Call us at 855-768-8845.