Increased Flexibility to Buy and Sell During COVID-19
Freddie Mac is doing all we can to help employees, borrowers, lenders and investors who are dealing with the impacts of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19. We’ve been very clear about the actions we’ve taken to protect our employees and ensure continuity of operations. Last week, we announced a number of relief measures designed to provide flexibility to borrowers facing a hardship in paying their mortgage.
Working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Freddie Mac announced that it has taken action to make it easier for the mortgage industry to buy or sell a home. Specifically, in order for homes to be bought, sold and refinanced, Freddie Mac will provide flexibility in employment verification requirements and leverage appraisal alternatives for eligible mortgages to address challenges lenders and borrowers are facing due to COVID-19.
Freddie Mac EVP and head of Single-Family, Donna Corley said, “The actions we’ve taken today will provide much-needed liquidity and stability to the housing market in this difficult time. That’s fundamentally our role – to be here in good times and in bad to keep the housing market going. We’re doing all we can to help our customers, borrowers and the broader economy during this trying time.”
Details on the announcement can be found in Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide (Guide) Bulletin 2020-5.
Details of these actions include:
- Temporary changes to our credit underwriting requirements, which allows potential homebuyers to provide alternative documents in lieu of a 10-day preclosing employment verification. This includes obtaining verification via e-mail from an employer, a recent year-to-date paystub from the borrower or a bank statement showing a recent payroll deposit.
- Temporary changes to our property valuation requirements, allowing us to utilize appraisal alternatives to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interior of a home for eligible mortgages.
- An expansion of our Automated Collateral Evaluation eligibility, which will allow us to appraise more borrowers.
- An extension of the deadline for certain annual reporting requirements.
We remain committed to working with FHFA and Fannie Mae to continue providing relief during this challenging time.