Announcement 2020-039: USDA - COVID-19 Temporary Guidance for Verbal Verification of Employment and Appraisal Reports

usda - temporary guidance for verbal verifications of emlployment and interior inspection appraisals and impacted by covid-19 pandemic emergency

USDA has issued temporary guidance for income verification and appraisals, repair instructions and in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency. The guidance is effective immediately and in effect for a period of 60 days until May 26, 2020.


verbal verification of emloyment

When a Verbal Verification of Employment (VVOE) is not obtainable within 10 days of closing due to the temporary closure of a borrower's employer, or other reason due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, NewRez will permit the following:

  • a direct electronic verification of employment from a Third-Party Verification Vendor that provides immediate work status reporting
  • or email from the borrower's employer as an alternative


When an email is used to verify employment, it must:

  • Be within ten days of the Note date,
  • Be from the employer's email address, such as (no Gmail, yahoo, etc.),
  • Be from the borrower's direct supervisor/manager or the employer's Human Resources department,
  • Contain all the standard information required on a VVOE, including the name, title, and phone number of the person providing the verification, and
  • Identify the borrower's name and current employment status.


NewRez will not accept a paysub or bank statements as alternative documentation to the VVOE.


For self-employed borrowers, NewRez is requiring verification that the borrower's business remains operational and must be done within 10 business days of the Note date.


Any reduction or loss of income that is disclosed as result of the verification of employment or the borrower after the Condition Commitment (3555-18) has been issued and prior to closing must be evaluated for resubmission to GUS and USDA for updated approval.


residential apraisal reports - existing dwelling

For Purchase and Non-Streamlined refinance transactions, when the appraiser is unable to complete an interior inspection due to COVID-19 concerns, an Exterior-Only Inspection Report (2055) will be accepted. In such cases, appraisers are not required to certify that the property meets HUD Handbook 4000.1 standards. Appraisal must be completed in accordance with USPAP and UAD standards.


This temporary appraisal report exception does not apply to new construction properties.


repair inspections - existing dwelling

When a repair completion certification is not available due to issues related to the COVID-19
pandemic, a letter signed by the borrower confirming that the repair work was completed is permitted. Evidence of completion, which may include photographs of the completed work, paid invoices to contractors indicating completion, certificate of occupancy certifications issued by inspectors, and other similar documentation is required.


resource links

USDA SFHGLP Lenders Page


USDA Stakeholder Announcement - Temporary Exceptions for VOE and Appraisal Reports due COVID-18 Pandemic