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Announcement 2020-044 COVID-19 Coronavirus Guidance – Additional Conforming Updates

NewRez is closely monitoring the evolving situation of COVID-19 and is providing an update on temporary guidance  for conventional conforming loans per Fannie Mae Lender LL-2020-04 issued March 31, 2020 and Freddie Mac Bulletin 2020-8 issued March 31, 2020. Note that this guidance does not extend to conventional conforming loans originated in conformance with state Bond or HFA programs. We will continue to provide updates as the situation changes.

 

Effective dates are listed below under each topic.

 

FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC PRODUCTS ONLY

Age of Documentation

Effective for loans with application dates on or after April 14, 2020 through May 17, 2020.

 

Income and asset documentation must be 60 days old as of the Note date for all loans (existing and new construction):

  • If an asset account is reported on a quarterly basis, the lender must obtain the most recently issued quarterly statement.
  • No changes have been made to the age of documentation requirements for military income documented using a Leave and Earnings Statement, Social Security, retirement income, long-term disability, mortgage credit certificates, public assistance, foster care, or royalty payments. Refer to the agencies’ guidelines for full details.
  • Information in third-party employment verification vendor’s database, when using for income and employment documentation, must be no more than 60 days old as of the note date (for VVOE guidance, refer to NewRez Announcement 2020-026).

 

Due to the federal income tax filing extension granted through July 15, 2020, the following documentation is not required

  • Copy of the IRS Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return), and
  • IRS Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return) transcript confirming “No Transcript Available” for the 2019 tax year.

 

Verification of Self-Employment

As noted in Announcement 2020-026, dated March 25, 2020, verification that the borrower’s business remains operational must be done within 10 days of the Note date. Below is additional guidance regarding ways to verify.

 

  • Evidence of current work (executed contracts or signed invoices that indicate the business is operating on the day the lender verifies self-employment);
  • Evidence of current business receipts within 10 days of the note date (payment for services performed);
  • Lender certification the business is open and operating (lender confirmed through a phone call or other means); or
  • Business website demonstrating activity supporting current business operations (timely appointments for estimates or service can be scheduled).

 

Stocks, Stock Options, and Mutual Funds

Effective: May be applied to existing loans in process but must be applied to loans with application dates on or after April 14, 2020 through May 17, 2020.

  • When used for down payment or closing costs, evidence of the borrower’s actual receipt of funds realized from the sale or liquidation must be documented in all cases.
  • When used for reserves, only 70% of the value of the asset must be considered, and liquidation is not required.

 

Power of Attorney

NewRez is currently reviewing and guidance will be provided as soon as available.

 

Remote Online Notarization

NewRez is currently reviewing and guidance will be provided as soon as available.

 

Flexibilities for New Construction Loans

Effective immediately for all Mortgages in process and with applications received on or before May 17, 2020.

 

Desk Top Appraisals

The ability to permit a desktop appraisal for new construction properties where the appraisal is “subject to completion per plans and specifications,” and also when the property is 100% complete but an interior and exterior inspection appraisal cannot be completed, is currently being researched. The ability to systematically support is currently under review.

 

Completion reports for new construction properties

For new construction properties where the appraisal report was completed “subject to completion per plans and specifications,” if the lender is unable to obtain a completed Appraisal Update and/or Completion Report (Form 1004D) as a result of COVID-19 related issues, we will accept the Completion of Construction Certification.

 

Identification of a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Loan

NewRez Announcement 2020-026 listed the following loan lookup tools to determine if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are the current investor of the existing mortgage.

 

Fannie Mae announced that DU will issue a new message on DU Version 10.3 loan casefiles submitted or resubmitted on or after the weekend of April 11, 2020, stating that the borrower's existing loan has been identified by DU as a Fannie Mae loan.

 

This message will be issued on limited cash-out refinance loan casefiles when DU:

  • finds an active Fannie Mae first mortgage loan for the subject property address, and
  • also confirms that the Social Security number (SSN) of at least one of the borrowers on the loan casefile matches one of the SSNs on the existing loan.

 

For additional information, below are links to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Frequently Asked Questions

 

Remember that NewRez is not adopting all flexibilities in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announcements, therefore some guidelines in their announcements and FAQ may not apply.

 

Please reference the NewRez Lending Library