In an effort to expedite real estate transactions, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced broader flexibility in mortgage processing this week, as the coronavirus impacts in-person interactions necessary to the process.
According to the announcement: FHFA is now permitting:
- Desktop appraisals on new-construction loans;
- Flexibility on demonstrating construction has been completed (alternative to the Completion Report);
- Flexibility for borrowers to provide documentation (rather than requiring an inspection) to allow renovation disbursements (draws); and
- An expansion of the use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each gave guidance on the new permissions, found on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac websites.
The announcement follows other relaxed rules, specifically addressing homebuyers, homeowners, landlords and renters, as well as the approval of an economic relief stimulus, both happening last week.
In the announcement this week, FHFA Director Mark Calabria stated: “These loan processing flexibilities will expedite loan closings and help keep homebuyers, sellers and appraisers safe during this national emergency.”
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