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All participants in the housing industry are grappling with the effects of COVID-19, from borrowers to originators to servicers.  The emergency has influenced all facets of the mortgage origination and servicing business, prompting additional restrictions in some instances while triggering flexibilities and relaxed requirements in others.  Flood insurance requirements, which are usually strict and inflexible,

Since Mayer Brown issued a Legal Update describing guidance issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (together with Fannie Mae, the “GSEs”), the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration (“VA”) relaxing requirements with respect to appraisals and income/employment verification during the COVID-19 emergency, the agencies have continued to revise their guidance as the market adjusts to the challenges encountered by mortgage lenders. The GSEs and the VA have all issued revised letters, and the US Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issued new guidance to provide relief in connection with guaranteed single-family loans. Below we describe the USDA’s guidance regarding appraisals and employment verifications performed in connection with RHS loans and provide updates on the changes made by the GSEs and the VA to their appraisal guidance.

Continue Reading The GSEs and Other US Federal Agencies Issue New and Revised Guidance for Appraisals and Verifications of Employment

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs have announced guidance regarding changes to their normal origination guidelines during the COVID-19 emergency.  This guidance includes temporarily-relaxed standards with respect to appraisals and employment/income verification requirements to accommodate social distancing guidelines and the fact that many employers are temporarily closed