Mortgage Tech Demo Day

In a half-day format, technology companies will demo their platforms and answer questions. You can tune in for the whole demo day, or strategically drop in on sessions to learn about specific solutions.

DOJ v. NAR and the ethics of real estate commissions

Today’s HousingWire Daily features the first-ever episode of Houses in Motion. We discuss the Department of Justice’s recent move to withdraw from a settlement agreement with the NAR.

Hopes for generational investment in housing fade in DC

Despite a Democratic majority, the likelihood of a massive investment in housing via a $3.5 trillion social infrastructure package appears slim these days. HW+ Premium Content

How non-QM lenders can make the origination process easier for brokers

As a leader in non-QM loans, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions offers the expertise and technology to make a broker's life easier - not harder.

Politics & MoneyMortgage

FHFA extends relaxed appraisal, lending standards

Extends COVID flexibilities to Feb. 28, 2021

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on Thursday it has extended relaxed lending and appraisal standards put in place due to COVID-19 another month for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The flexibilities surrounding alternative verifications of employment and appraisals were originally set to expire on Jan. 31, 2021, however, the government entity is now pushing that back to at least Feb. 28, 2021.

According to the release, the extended flexibilities include-

  • Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans;
  • Alternative methods for documenting income and verifying employment before loan closing; and
  • Expanding the use of power of attorney to assist with loan closings.

At the brink of the pandemic in March, the FHFA began directing both the GSE’s to ease their standards for property appraisals and verification of employment given the “extraordinary circumstances.”

In a letter sent by Fannie, the Enterprise cited many lenders were unable to obtain an appraisal based on a full interior and exterior inspection of the subject property as the virus continued to spread.


How the mortgage industry is working together to make housing more affordable

The issue of housing affordability has no one solution, but with collaboration across the entire housing industry, together we can create more opportunity for more people to achieve sustainable, long-term homeownership.

Presented by: Fannie Mae

In turn, the FHFA supervised the GSEs to begin using both drive-by appraisals and desktop appraisals in certain circumstances to ensure that the mortgage process was not held up due to appraisal issues.

Those alternative appraisals may become long-term solutions, as the FHFA released a Request for Input (RFI) through February that highlights specifically the benefits and pitfalls of hybrid appraisals, updating the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) and an increased use of appraisal waivers. As a result of their initial push in March, the Urban Institute reported a 14% increase overall in appraisal waivers, which contributed to an increase in refinance activity.

Beyond that, the FHFA noted that employment verification was becoming increasingly more difficult as many businesses had either shut down entirely or were running with limited crews. To that end, the GSEs will accept alternative forms of employment verification, including a recent paystub, to ensure lending can continue.

Specifically, the FHFA states that “in the event lenders cannot obtain verbal verification of the borrower’s employment before loan closing, the Enterprises will allow lenders to obtain verification via an e-mail from the employer, a recent year-to-date paystub from the borrower, or a bank statement showing a recent payroll deposit.”

As always, the FHFA said it will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and update policies as needed.

As of Jan. 14, the CDC has reported over 1.7 million news cases of the virus in the past seven days, though much of the recovery will rely on the dispersing of the vaccine.

Leave a comment

Most Popular Articles

Home prices are still rising, but relief for buyers is coming

Domestic home prices increased 2.3% from May to June, and 17.2% year-over-year, per CoreLogic. Twin Falls, Idaho had the highest annual increase at 40.2%.

Aug 03, 2021 By

Latest Articles

More households paid their rent and mortgage in Q2 2021

Fewer than five million households failed to make their rent or mortgage payments in the second quarter of 2021, down from Q1

Aug 04, 2021 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please