On March 23, 2020, to facilitate liquidity in the mortgage market during the coronavirus national emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to provide alternative flexibilities to satisfy appraisal requirements and employment verification requirements through May 17, 2020.
To allow for homes to be bought, sold, and refinanced as our nation deals with the challenges of the coronavirus, the Enterprises will leverage appraisal alternatives to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interior of a home for eligible mortgages.
In addition, 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. Lenders should continue to utilize sound underwriting judgment to ensure these alternatives are appropriate to the borrower’s circumstances.
The announcement is the latest action that FHFA has taken to ensure the Enterprises fulfill their mission of providing market liquidity during the coronavirus national emergency. Other actions include a suspension of foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days and offering forbearance for borrowers facing hardship due to coronavirus.
FHFA and the Enterprises are monitoring the coronavirus national emergency’s effect on the housing market and will continue to update our policies when necessary.
FNM Lender Letter on Originations: https://singlefamily.fanniemae.com/media/22316/display
FNM Lender Letter on Appraisals: https://singlefamily.fanniemae.com/media/22321/display
FRE’s bulletin on both topics: https://guide.freddiemac.com/app/guide/content/a_id/1003723